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February 6, 2017 “A Stitch in Time”

My heart was touched when he brought the crib-sized, handmade quilt and placed it in my lap with these words, “Can you stitch it back together?”  I hadn’t seen the quilt in decades—the quilt lovingly made by my grandmother when I was pregnant, the quilt loved and carried through many a mile of my son’s childhood pursuits.  It had seemed only logical that I take it out of its storage and take it to his house as soon as he began having children of his own.


But now it is tattered.  The blocks are coming apart from one another.  The blocks are coming loose from the background.  The binding is coming unsewn.  There is hardly a seam in the whole quilt that is entirely intact.


What touched my heart was his recognition of this—this gift from the third generation removed from him—as something to be mended and brought back to life for his own children and potentially future generations of children to enjoy.  After all we live in a throw-away world.  We live in a world where everything carries a pricetag and where things without a high dollar value are often cast aside, thrown into the trash heap, replaced by something of greater dollar value!


But who can put a pricetag on stitches made by loving hands eagerly anticipating the birth of a great grandchild?  Who can put a pricetag on items that have weathered childhood and that beg for the opportunity to weather the escapades of future generations of children?


My hands will grasp the quilt with memories flooding into my brain—memories of the sweet woman who made the quilt, memories of my child who carried it in his arms or dragged it behind him wherever he went.  More importantly, however, my hands will grasp the needle and the thread with a committed heart and with dogged determination to preserve that which needs to be preserved.  My hands will be relentless until the stitch in time is complete!


It occurred to me—just as we are casual about items in the world around us, so are we casual about people in the world around us.  We sometimes will cast people aside or devalue people and replace them with “newer, better” models. 


But what if?  What if we were convinced of the value of people—people like ourselves, people different from ourselves, people who are easy to love, people who are hard to loved?  What if we made the commitment to protect and preserve relationships?  What if we dedicated ourselves to the hard work of repairing relationships that may be broken?  “A stitch in time saves nine,” says the old expression!

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