Harvest of Gifts…

My sister-in-law stayed (actually she was stranded) with us throughout the worst – or best – of lockdown. Together with Jane, Maddy and Jacob we formed a happy little commune. We came to appreciate that each of us had something special to offer – a God given gift that brought ‘creative good news’ into the experience of lockdown. My sister-in-law is a very gifted artist and also incredibly practical. She fixed our kitchen chairs and painted them in colours much brighter than Jane or I would ever dare. She also redesigned the rockery (I lifted most of the rocks!) and replanted it so that even in autumn it is alive with colour.

Well, Claire has been staying with us over the last few weeks because Jane’s father is now really quite poorly. It’s a worrying time and we all need something to help us keep on an even keel. Claire has brought her knitting. She knits with the Norwegian technique – I don’t know what that is but the end result is the same – in this case the most beautifully patterned and textured lama wool jumper! Her knitting – gentle and skilled, has been so centering and brought real healing to troubled hearts and minds…

As we look to celebrate Harvest, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the ways big or small that God has gifted us. The things we’re able to do which are full of ‘creative goodness’ and have a way of being good news for others. It’s also a time when we can go out of our way to recognise those gifts in others and make a point of celebrating them and giving thanks to people for the way their giftedness is such good news.

I’d like to share a ‘blog’ I got from our very gifted Eric. He sends them out regularly to the Amblers and sometimes I just find they say something that I feel needs sharing with the whole church family. So here it is – and it’s about knitting!

From Knots to Knitting

How are you managing this second wave of restrictions? Do you feel it has all gone on for too long? Did you read about the 91 year old great great grandmother Margaret Seaman who lives with her 72 year old daughter in Caister on Sea?

She decided during Lockdown to knit a hospital and call it Knittingdale to raise funds for her local hospitals. She knitted 58 figures – doctors, nurses, patients,  an X-ray unit, a fracture clinic, 4 wards including A&E, a helipad, a car park, and gardens. She has so far raised £3,500.

Objects of knitting have been found that date back to 500 AD in Egypt. It is also is mentioned in the Bible – “You knit me together in my mother’s womb”. Psalm 139v13. Its original meaning is to create and shape. What you believe shapes your life. I want to suggest four attitudes that will help us to manage these extended restrictions:

A ccept we are all vulnerable people living in a vulnerable world
A dapt We have to be open to change and live our life differently.
A nticipate do not lose hope there will be a better tomorrow
A ppreciate we need to be grateful for what we do have and not to focus upon what we do not have. “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is Gods will for you”. 1Thessalonians c5v18.

In our language the word for knitting came from the word knot; some knots are a tiresome tangle an unwelcome obstacle but knots can also be used to make things secure or in the case of knitting to bring shape to provide clothing as a series of knots are skilfully woven into a pattern and purpose. What brings you strength and hope during this time?

May your giftedness bring you strength and hope and be a gift to others.
Assuring you of my prayers and trusting to yours

Jonathan

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