Wrap Yourself in Prayers

Every stitch in a prayer quilt is imbued with healing energy, which gets transmitted to the person who receives it.

Quilting"God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer."
--Mother Teresa

Time for full disclosure: I am not a quilter. I have dabbled here and there - made the odd patchwork square and even took a class once, though I have never actually completed a quilt. But I am a committed crafter who finds the time to work every single day in some medium, whether knitting, beading, needlepoint, or papercrafts. Working with my hands to create something I consider beautiful is, for me, as necessary as food, sleep, or love. It’s something that I simply cannot imagine not doing. And when I’m crafting, that’s the time I find myself most open and alert to discovering God moving in mystery through my life. When I take up a needle, I feel myself tapping into something divine inside of me.

What is it about crafting that brings me to such a special, sacred awareness? I think it’s the fact that when I’m crafting I feel most rooted and connected to my past. When I hold a needle, I’m aware of a line like a thread that runs from me back through the generations to all other women who came before me in the craft. For someone who’s moved from place to place most of her life and whose family tree is more like a family stick, this is a very powerful feeling. Practicing traditional crafts like quilting can bring a rootedness in tradition—the same thing that many of us find in our religious practices and in our churches. That sense of rootedness is not something easily found in fast-paced, technology-driven times.


I’m not alone in feeling this way. Untold numbers of crafters, many of them quilters, before me have discovered that there’s something about working with your hands that can bring a deeper understanding of God and of our purpose in God’s universe. Perhaps it’s because when we’re making something, we’re engaging in an act of creation—an act that we, then, share with God, our Creator. Our creations are extensions of God’s creations. And, when we craft, we’re using talents, skills, and abilities that came to us from the hand of God. To me, it isn’t a stretch to imagine that the use of these abilities can be a link to the Mystery that originally gave them to us. I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter. All that I know is that when I am crafting I feel more alive and more involved in my inner spiritual life than at any other time.

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Kimberly Winston
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