Sometimes my thoughts are of such mundane things as what to cook for dinner or how the light bulb in the hallway needs to be changed. Often, I plan my next sewing project. Occasionally my thoughts ramble down one random path after another until I get so lost in my head I can barely find my way out of my studio at the end of the day. But, once in a very rare while my cognitive process leads me in a more edifying direction. Yesterday I was mulling over a Bible passage I stumbled across about a year ago...
The story concerns a woman named Dorcas, a disciple "who was always doing good and helping the poor." Acts 9:36 By the time we meet her, the poor woman has become sick and died. As it so happened, Peter was in a neighboring town at the time and was summoned at once. Upon his arrival, "all the widows stood around him crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them." Acts 9:39 Can you feel the love, the pride, the grief in that one sentence?
There were several things about this short passage that resonated with me:
- Dorcas loved the people around her
- She showed her love by sewing for them
- They accepted her gifts for what they were - an expression of her affection
- They had an abiding love for Dorcas in return
Although I'm not always "doing good and helping the poor," I felt such a kinship with Dorcas at that moment I too mourned her passing. It made me think of my own grandmother who sewed a mountain of clothes for me throughout my childhood, and of my husband's grandmother who pieced the most beautiful quilt tops. I considered the love that must have gone into each and every stitch and I was humbled and honored. And I felt a sharp pang of longing to see them just one more time.
Further, it gave greater meaning and purpose to my craft. My sewing IS more than an artistic endeavor. It's an expression of my love for my family and friends. My hope is that they will feel that affection on some level, and that my stitching will create a legacy of love that will outlast me.
Your craft may not be sewing. And you might not be a Christian. But as an artist who is also a mother or daughter, sister or friend, I'm sure you understand what I'm talking about. When you create whatever you create, you're creating more than a tangible item. You're crafting love. You can read the entire short story of Dorcas in Acts 9:36-43. By the way, the story does have a happy ending.
If you're a Dorcas too, I'd like to hear how you became one and why. If you'll send me an email I'll share your story in a new monthly feature. And for my Etsy friends, leave a comment and I'll include you in my next treasury.