A year ago I started a knitting group for the ladies at our church. When we meet every other week, we knit or crochet, laugh, cry, and share and pray for one another. We range in age from 90 to 12, we are retired, widowed, married, single, business owners, disabled, students, professionals & stay-at-home moms. We are visually impaired, have mental illnesses, dementias, physical impairments, marital problems, business problems, financial difficulties. We are quiet and shy or talkative and gregarious. We are all quite different, but our love of the Lord, compassion for others and our crafts bind us together.
We knit or crochet items for various local charities:
- Duke Hospice (prayer shawls for terminally ill patients)
- Pregnancy Support Services (baby clothes for moms who chose life rather than abortion)
- Our Children;s Place (hats for fundraisers to raise awareness that every 28th child in NC has a parent in prison)
- Homestart (hats and scarves for homeless women and children)
Depending on each person’s level of skill they can knit anything from a scarf to blankets & shawls, to sweaters and hats..
I provide free supplies and lessons for ladies wanting to learn how to knit or crochet (although I am not too good at crocheting).
At first we had a dozen or so ladies coming, and I thought that was wonderful and hoped that more would join us. However, the past 6 months or so we have only had five to seven ladies attending. I became discouraged and considered terminating the group. Then out of the blue I got messages from the daughters of two of the older ladies in the group. Two other members also shared with me the impact that he group has had on them.
One daughter said that her mom is shy and this group has been helpful for her in getting to know other ladies. She was delighted that now on a Sunday morning folks have greeted her mom by name because they know her from the group.
Another shared how much her mom looks forward to this group (the lady has also shared the same). Her mom has memory problems and had moved from out of state to live with her daughter. The group has provided her with friends and she has steadily been improving her knitting skills. She is one of my most prolific shawl knitters.
One lady said that she was struggling with issues related to finances, family, work and general stress as a result of this. She told us how much she looks forward to coming to the group and how knitting provides much-needed relaxation for her. This lady was a new knitter when she started coming, now she is taking additional classes to learn new techniques and she is now knitting more complicated things.
Lastly, one of our prolific hat makers struggles with ongoing depression but manages to come to the meetings. The group provides her with socialization with other believers. She does not drive so I pick her.We often sit in the car, share and pray for each other. I have seen her just blossom in creativity and interactions with the group.
I know this post digresses from my usual ramblings, but I do have a point. I have learned through this group that God has a plan. He has provided a safe environment for women of all ages to come and feel welcomed, to find comfort in their craft, to be able to share and help one another, A place where there is no judgement of status, talent or health. A place to escape and unwind from the daily stresses.
So I am listening to God and I am not going to give up because the number of attendees pales in light of the benefits reported. The world measures success in numbers and quality and I got sucked into that lie when I contemplated disbanding the group. I have come to see that the quality of lives is what counts, not perfectly crafted items or the number of attendees. Like our knitting, we may have a few dropped or wrong stitches, but the selfless love and compassion that we give to one another as well as to the recipients of our crafts is the real work of art.
So our group may have a few dropped members, and some who do not fit the pattern (in their eyes) but God has knit us together so that we can be God’s hands and heart for one another.
Galatians 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.