Knitting Object Lesson

As a youth leader, object lessons were critical tools to giving a talk to middle school students – they gave a concrete, physical example of an abstract idea that may be hard to explain. And middle schoolers are nothing if not concrete thinkers. Having prepared and given so many of those talks over the years, I guess my mind is still trained to see them around me.

This Easter Sunday brought an unexpected one, though.

I have been working on the Rose Trellis Shawl Vest for several weeks now. It’s been a pretty easy lace pattern, with a whole lot of stockinette thrown in the middle. I had to tink back several times when I was paying more attention to my audiobook than the chart (don’t get me started on the Outlander series!), but all in all, a lovely knit. I soaked and blocked it yesterday with my nifty new blocking wires (you gotta get some if you knit lace at all regularly), and left it to dry. It turned out lovely.

As I was taking pictures of it just now and preparing what I wanted to say about it here, the object lesson hit me like a ton of bricks. (God has a tendency to do that with me.)

This project is a lot like our relationship with God. We try to follow the plan He set out, and for the most part do an okay job (having to go back and fix things occasionally when we screw up), and we think life’s going alright. I mean, it looks good enough

rose-trellis-preblocking-closeup

But we’re so close to the project that we can’t see the big picture, the whole thing – we’re so focused on the next row in the chart, the next thing on our list.

This…

rose-trellis-preblocking-flat

is how God sees us – the whole big, messy thing. And He sees the potential, the beauty within the fibers.

Just like the lace.

But to release it, it has to be soaked and cleaned, and *stretched* out of its current ordinariness in order to reach its full beauty and potential. And that’s what God’s doing with us – blocking us crazy laces into something so much more beautiful than we could ever be on our own.

rose-trellis-blocking-2

It’s tough work, and takes time (it took almost an hour just to get the wires all woven where they need to be for this), and sometimes hurts, but the end result is always magnificent.

rose-trellis-open-back

rose-trellis-front

He sees us this way all the time; it’s we who have to learn to see it in ourselves, and allow Him to stretch us.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” — 2 Corinthians 5:17

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