Quilts - Week of October 4th

By Judy Nichols

October 4, 2015

Every craftsman likes to work with quality materials. Talented musicians want the best instruments to play. Wood workers prefer walnut or maple to pine. As a seamstress, I’ve always said if you want to make a beautiful garment, you need to find beautiful fabric. There is one area of the sewing world where that is not the case: quilting. Today quilters go to the fabric store and buy coordinating fabrics to make their quilts. But quilting began long ago as thrifty housewives saved the odd scraps from making their family’s clothing and household goods and pieced them together in intricate designs. Scraps from the mother’s aprons, dad’s work shirts, children’s school clothes and the baby’s layette, as well as from dish towels, curtains, tablecloths and napkins, and who knows what else, were all put together to make a warm and very beautiful piece of bedding.

In Ephesians 2 Paul writes that God saved us by His grace so that "in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6). He wants to put us on display before the entire spiritual realm. Since God the Creator is the ultimate Craftsman, don’t you think He would have wanted to use quality materials through which to demonstrate His skills? Evidently, He did not.

He chose those who were broken, dead in their transgressions (v.5), even His enemies (see Romans 5:10) to be His raw materials. Instead of choosing the wise, the mighty, the noble, God chose the foolish, the weak, the base and despised (see 1 Cor. 1:26-31). God chose the scrap bag of humanity from which to produce His masterpiece.

Paul goes on to say, "We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them" (v.10). It is as He trims, presses, and arranges us scraps, putting us together according to His design that we become useful as well as beautiful for Him.

I’ve done a few simple quilted projects and, from just my limited experience, I know there is a world of work that goes into making a quilt, especially one that is composed of little scraps of fabric. Just the ability to envision a beautiful design while looking at a pile of scraps is mind-boggling. It gives me a greater appreciation for Jesus’ statement in John 5:17, "My Father is working until now."

© Judy Nichols 2015

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