When I was in early high school, I thought it would be brilliant to order a tablecloth for the Petry kitchen, but the tablecloth I chose was no ordinary tablecloth. This came with a do-it-yourself cross-stitch pattern, just like the ones my Granny and Great Grandmother had made, which gave the idea a certain charm. It only involved 2 colors, and the pattern was already stamped onto the cloth, so what could go wrong, right?!
Now I know that cross-stitching 4 napkins and a circular weave around an entire cloth is a tedious discipline, requiring hours upon hours to complete. It is a very fine feeling to finally say, "I'm done!" And, even though a tablecloth itself is not a very significant thing, this one is, because of all the love and effort I had to invest in it. We have a history, that tablecloth and I! I could have bought a pre-cross-stitched tablecloth, but I didn't, and I like it all the better because of my labor. I'm so glad I refused to give up!
It reminds me of how God might feel - instead of making instantly perfect humans, he made people who, through His own radical sacrifice and love, can become His very own, and who can, through the slow process of learning to love Him and surrender to Him, become more and more glorious over time. Our very brokenness and weakness becomes precious, because He meets us there and gets to show off His strength, making us whole and new. It is so good to be loved and treasured and owned by Him.
So tonight, I'm praising God for His goodness, for the end of very long projects, and for Seven Year Tablecloths.
I do believe it is time for a party.
“The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of Your hands.”
– Psalm 138:8
“Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.”
– Psalm 100:3
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
– Philippians 1:6