Dear weaver of our lives’ design
whose patterns all obey,
with skillful fingers gently guide
the sturdy threads that will survive
the tangle of our days.
Take up the fabric of our lives
with hands that gently hold;
bind in the ragged edge that care
would sunder and that pain would tear,
and mend our rav’ling souls.
Let eyes that in the plainest cloth
a hidden beauty see;
discern in us our richest hues,
show us the patterns we may use
to set our spirits free.
Back in my holy roller days, a member of my prayer circle self-proclaimed herself as having the gift of prophesy. In that space and time, we understood that to be a huge gift, but the way it played out was her telling us things about life in poetic language. And yes, she was doing an MA in creative writing. She’d wax poetic about trees and rebirth, crystals and growth, wind and change. Nothing too wild, but our 18-year-old minds were blown away by her 25-year-old wisdom. At one of our gatherings, she went into ‘prophesy’ mode and talked to me about being a tapestry, a life woven through time with many threads coming together; I wouldn’t be able to see it because I was still young and too close, but it would become significant.
As time wore on and I fell away from that path, I forgot most of what happened in those circles and firmly rejected the harmful doctrines; however, her image of a tapestry has stayed with me, more than 30 years now. I return to it time and time again, thinking about how not just our individual lives but our communities and indeed our world are woven into beautiful tapestries we can only see part of. When something especially good or especially bad happens, I think about what color threads are being used, what the image on the tapestry looks like, how it connects to other parts of the design.
So it’s not surprising that I love the lyrics of this hymn. Me, in my theistic, “god is creator and creating and so are we” understanding of theology, resonates deeply with this weaver of our lives’ design. We are plain cloth and tangled threads; we are the sculpture under the stone; we are the unprocessed film; we are the unplayed notes on the piano – all ready to be and already woven into our life’s tapestry. This is creation and creating, this is possibility and anticipation, this is what is and what’s next.