Two weeks ago, our church celebrated Quilt Sunday, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite Sundays of the year.
On Quilt Sunday, every pew is draped with several quilts – each handmade as a labor of love by six little old ladies in our congregation. This year, some 240 quilts filled our sanctuary.
These little old ladies meet weekly in our church’s sewing room, just a few doors down from my office. Week after week, I pass them without thinking much of it. I never think about the fact that these women are so old that I would think standing over a quilting table or sitting hunched over a sewing machine would be uncomfortable. I never think about the thickness of their glasses or the arthritis threatening to cripple their hands.
But week after week, I see these little old ladies faithfully sewing their quilts. Together, they use their gifted hands to make a quilt every day and a half.
The quilts they’re making aren’t like the ones that Doug and I own. We have one quilt that Doug’s Grandma started making for him and several of her friends finished after her death. We have another made my Great Grandma Johnson. We have a third that’s a t-shirt quilt made by my aunt. Each are treasured family heirlooms that are hung or stored away for safe keeping.
Not so with the ones the little old ladies are making at my church.
Their precious works of art won’t be handed down as family heirlooms to their grandkids. Instead, they’ll be sent around the world by Lutheran World Relief and given to those who are hungry, cold, and without shelter.
It’s honestly hard for me to fathom how these little old ladies can invest so much time making something that will likely never even see a bed, but that instead will be used to cover people sleeping in the dirt; That will be used to protect against the rain; That will likely never be washed.
While I willingly give my tattered rags away, these women give something homemade and beautiful to people who are the least among us.
To me, this is incomprehensible. It’s stunning. It’s grace that reeks of Jesus.