Monday, January 14, 2013

Playdates with God: Threads

Thanksgiving 2012


We have our small group friends over and we talk about friendship—how we need each other and how scary that can be. I have to leave early, though, so we don’t go too deep but the lesson settles under my skin—becomes air—as I slide into the church pew for the memorial service.

There’s a little boy in the pew right in front of me and he looks so small. He is wearing a plaid shirt with red threaded through baby blue. This little boy lost his father this week and I can’t stop thinking how small he is. That bright red thread running through the blues across his back distracts me and I can’t think of anything else.

But he leans over and says something and I see him smile and that’s when I notice them. These two other little boys that flank his right and left. They are in plaid too and this trio of intermingling threads—the blues and browns and reds and grays—it makes my heart swell.

The place is full and we sing praise and we pray together and people tell stories about a man who loved Jesus and other people and those three boys don’t leave each other. It somehow feels wrong to write about how brave grief must be but it is a story we all know. And we stand in line for almost an hour to thread ourselves into this telling and we are drawn deeper in. And when I hug that little boy’s mama I am weaving love.

On the way back to the car I think how odd these traditions are and I wonder about the soul-weary tired I saw etched in the lines of her face. But there was something else too—something stitched together with every hug, every tear, every word, every touch…

Oh, how we need each other.

Later, I sit out on the deck with my husband in the dark. It’s 65 degrees at 9 O’clock at night in the middle of January and we need to sit where there are no walls. He lights a candle and the shadows of trees make etchings on the side of our house. He talks about things pressing on his heart but all I can think about is the beauty of the way life threads us together, woven stitches of love crisscrossing through our hearts.

How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him.

Today, over at The High Calling, we continue our book club discussion of Karen Swallow Prior's Booked. Will you join us?

The Playdates button:

25 comments:

Diana said...

Beautifully written Laura and thought provoking. The things we, as writers, notice in life that act as symbols of life can be so unexpected. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And I pray comfort for your friend and her children.

kelli woodford said...

This is ravishing, Laura.
I love how you communicate to the deep places in your writing, without blinding us with the truth. It's like you creep up to it slowly, at a slant.
Taking this to heart. All of this, it speaks with a Voice behind the words.
Thank you.

Lisa notes... said...

Crying, thinking about the little boy and his mama. Crying, thinking about those threads that keep us from falling apart. Beautiful, Laura.

kendalprivette said...

this grief and needing each other in it....it's grace alive.

Christina said...

My husband lost his father when he was a child and it was the weaving of lives that carried him through--the love of friends and family. May we hold hands and weep with those who weep, mourn with those who mourn. We are stronger together.

Deb Colarossi said...

so achingly beautiful. real. Your heart a a light, LIght.

Beth Steffaniak said...

You are such an amazing observer of life, Laura. And I'm so glad that you've noticed and highlighted how God weaves our lives together in seamless beauty. Even though I don't know this family, I will pray for their terrible loss and join in the "weaving" of God's hope and comfort.

smoothstones said...

Meeting with our small group, tonight, and--glad as my heart is for myself--it's gladder for my introverted sweetheart who trusts and loves these friends. Thinking, also, how life is more beautiful for hard moments. Glad that boy has good friends.

Linda Stoll said...

ah ... the bittersweet photo, your words etched with pain and hope ... a stirring pairing

SimplyDarlene said...

Oh miss.


I am so very, over the moon, thankful to call you "friend."


Blessings.

tinuviel said...

Oh, so beautiful. I couldn't help but picture my trio of youngest nephews in your words, even though they are brother-friends. Life does "thread us together," doesn't it? And the threads of the communion of the Spirit bind even more securely (or should).


May God comfort that grieving widow and son. May He make His nearness so very palpable to them and support them through this grief.

bluecottonmemory said...

My boys learned that this year - that friends need us - and they flanked their friends, protecting them. How we need friends both for the celebration and for the sadness

JosephPote said...

Beautifully written, Laura!

These words especially caught my attention:

"...friendship—how we need each other and how scary that can be..."

So true! Such a comfort and, yet, so uncomrtable...
Blessings to you, my friend!

Elizabeth said...

In case I failed to tell you, I love your writing, your art, deeply I do. But Laura, this is a favorite. Masterful. Beautiful.

Alicia Bruxvoort said...

Oh, aching and wiping those tears again. And praying for those sweet boys and that dear mama and for all who walk bravely through grief. This post leaves me speechless.

Elizabeth Hernandez said...

OH! This is such a beautiful read with such love of the treads we weave. When you talked about the red in the boys shirt all I thought about was the red blood the Lord shed for us and His love. The love that we share and weave as we touch each other and share the love of those we love. This touched me very deeply thank you. So glad to stop by and read your writings once again. I hope to do a post again soon on your hop. Many blessings I have missed you

kingfisher said...

Yes, we do need each other. So glad that this mother and the children found some comfort from others being there for them. Oh, how we pray that those who presently don't feel they can find a supportive community, Blessings on you today, sweet Laura.

Hazel Moon said...

Yes, Our lives are woven together, yet as a thread so fragil life does break at times.
God and our friends help hold us together.

Kelly Hausknecht Chripczuk said...

I think of this weaving and the tearing and weaving again - this great fabric of our lives, criss-crossed with patches and broken threads, fine needle-work made beautiful by grace.

Laurie Collett said...

So beautiful, and so true. A cord of 3 strands woven together is not easily broken. Thanks for the uplifting post & for hosting, & God bless.
Laurie
http://savedbygracebiblestudy.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth Anne May said...

Exquisite, as always.

Amy Anderson said...

You weave such beauty, Laura. Like the One who created us. Thanking God for you, what you share, and how you do it. Also saying a prayer for this dear family.

Margaret Feinberg said...

What a great idea. I love the idea of having play dates with God! Thanks for the idea!

Monica Sharman said...

Do you know---I think I have a fear of grief.


I will be thinking on this post, and that plaid, for a long time. Thanks.

Sandra Heska King said...

Oh my! That red thread running through the blue--the blue of grief. I. Saw. Hope. That Rahab cord again. I'm undone before I finish. I'm so glad you're stitched in my heart.


Just linking up. I forgot.