Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Pain and Beauty of Life's Tapestry

Before the twentieth century, many American women knew how to quilt. Often the mainstay of quiet afternoon work, quilting also provided a social time for women to gather. Life was hard and, except for church, there wasn’t much time for socializing. Quilting bees provided both social interaction and the opportunity to make quilts for the family beds or wedding gifts. Later, quilting became part of church fundraising efforts. Even today, a quilt can sell for hundreds of dollars at a charity event.

One of the things I lament in the twenty-first century is the lack of necessity of quilting. It’s still a popular hobby, and for some, a source of income or ministry. But, in our busy world, most people go to the store and buy a new comforter when the old one wears out or no longer matches the newest home d├ęcor. 

In my newest Christian novel, Return to Walhalla, the main character Penny Ruskin finds herself drawn to the charm and industry of the older church ladies of First Baptist. Their goal is to make a hundred quilts for Russian orphans. Humor, love, and years of experience are handed down along with the craft of quilting. I was drawn to this idea as a secondary storyline because it was something I had experienced in my own church. Like Penny, I’d never quilted before, and I was both enraptured and intimidated by the idea of quilting.

Life is a lot like a quilt—a tapestry of pain and beauty woven over time. As Christians, the finished product is a beautiful masterpiece presented to the heavenly realms on our day of passing into eternity. Christ knows all the little stitches, the blunders, the places where too many uneven stitches are sewn or pieces have been ripped out to be replaced with something new. He knows our lifetime of sorrows and joy. In fact, He is weaving us into a new creation for eternity.

I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! Colossians 2:2-3 MSG

Isn’t it great that God has shown us the mystery of His Son Jesus, whom he poured out his knowledge and love through? The tapestry He unfolded in the life and hope of Jesus is one that encircles us like a warm quilt on a cold day. I don’t know about you, but there’s no place else I’d rather be than abiding in that warmth!

Which Bible verse provides you with the assurance that God is working in the messy places in your life to weave together something beautiful? Or maybe a special hymn that lifts you up on those difficult days?

Laura Hodges Poole is a Christian writer and editor. Her latest book, Return to Walhalla, is available for pre-order on Amazon. You may visit her website at laurahodgespoole.com where you’ll find links to her blog, A Word of Encouragement, and her other books. Her passion is encouraging others in their Christian walk, as well as mentoring fellow writers. When she’s not writing, you might find her being crafty, hiking, or playing the piano. A mother of two, Laura lives in South Carolina with her husband and son.

Quilting photos courtesy of Pixabay.


  1. Learning to quilt is on my bucket list. I prefer the hand stitched quilts instead of purchased one made in mass production.

    One of my favorite promises set to music is Psalms 46:1 "God is our refuge strength, a very present help in trouble." Other favorites are Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalms 121

    Thank you for sharing this uplifting post. Life is a stitch by stitch of this journey on earth. Return to Walhalla sounds like a book I will enjoy reading.

    1. Thanks, Marilyn. I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I would love to do more quilting myself. I learned just a little from my church group but would like to learn more. I love those Bible passages you shared. The Psalms are so uplifting when we're facing tough times. Thanks for sharing. God bless.

  2. "Life is a lot like a quilt—a tapestry of pain and beauty woven over time." - great quote. Thank you for the post!

    1. You're welcome, Natalya. I'm glad you enjoyed it. God bless.

  3. Thanks for your inspiring words. This is one of my favorite verses.

    "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
    Jeremiah 29:11

    1. You're welcome. Glad you enjoyed the post. That's a great passage, one I think of often.