I received a wonderful gift from a land far away this week. It was a piece of art intricately crafted with what looks like a single piece of string. I can almost envision the hands working together with a metal hook, poking and bending the string into place. It looks like a simple doily, one that your grandmother might've had on a special table. But if you take the time to really look at all the pattern and the thread itself, you will see what I see.
First of all the string. If you look at it closely, maybe with a magnifying glass, you will see that it has several threads twisted together to make the string itself. In the Bible, Ecclesiastes says, "a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Rope makers and yarn spinners know this truth.
The same goes for people. It's always good to have one or two really close friends. There is strength in number. I wonder if there is someone out there at a breaking point...have you sought out a good friend, someone you can trust? Someone who will come along side you and prop you up if you slip?
The pattern is a lovely flower pattern. Lots of counting probably went into this design. The artist knew that having an odd number of flowers would make a more balanced looking piece. And as they stitched it together, that thread was reinforced over and over, one piece supporting the next.
I have to admit. Sometimes I feel like that string, getting stretched, wound and pulled taught until I thought I would snap. But God and His tender workmanship kept at it. And if something wasn't quite right, He would unravel that part of my life and we'd try again together.
As it is with community. Sometimes families move away, but someone new comes along and they seem to fit right in. You see, when God stitches us all together, we become a lovely piece of art. It is like this lace doily, lovely cogs in a wheel that spin together and move His Kingdom forward here on earth.
And I have to admit, that is the most beautiful gift someone can give you: the gift of community. Time to pick up the threads of your life and find a local church family. Let God knit you together and watch community bloom.
“Now I’m turning you over to God, our marvelous God whose gracious Word can make you into what he wants you to be and give you everything you could possibly need in this community of holy friends." Acts 20:32 (MSG)