I love the idea of life as a tapestry, every person and event a thread that makes up the big beautiful picture of my life.  Pretty poetic I know, but it jives with me.

The big events are more essential to the big picture, the births of my children, the deaths of my parents, the first time I left a comment on Kel’s blog.  These events will be apparent when future generations step back and consider my life.  The woven picture of my life would be a completely different image without those days, those moments.

my people, my community are a clear part of this picture too and lately I’ve been noticing that people who weather storms with me are woven deeper, tighter into the fabric of my life.  Those relationships are stronger, my passion for them fiercer, they are woven into my life in an irreplaceable way.  When I tell the stories of those red letter days I can’t help but bring up their name, calling into memory their support and the way that God spoke to me through them.

A few of those relationships have ended despite my best efforts and the pain is deeper somehow.  For example, my close friend, the one who drove me home after the news of my Dad’s death made a purposeful and abrupt exit from my life about 6 months later.  I still think him, how he stood by my side during hard times but then walked out without explanation.  He’s a thread in my tapestry whose absence I still notice, even 6 years later.

As I reflect on those who have come alongside me I realize that I am crazy blessed.  Those parts of my life-tapestry thicken, so many threads, so many people came closer, surrounded.  This makes me not only deeply thankful but deeply passionate about being an essential thread in the lives of others.  I want to be a 24/7 friend, the kind you call when your world seems to be crumbling.  I am willing to bring a pot of soup, provide childcare and come over in my pajamas.

As Jesus showed me love through the hands of the willing, so I pray that he cultivates that same willingness in my heart.  I want to be sent, an extension of his love.

May we all be essential threads this day, this month, this year.  May our prayer sound something like: “use me, weave me deeply into the hearts and lives of those who need it, forever and amen.”