I’ve been making a baby blanket to raffle off at a charity event to benefit a local 4 year old with Stage IV cancer. About halfway through, I looked at the blanket and realized it was nothing but a series of interlocked mistakes, worthless. No one would want it for her baby. I should just toss it.
The same night, I realized ♥My Book♥ was nothing more than a series of stupid sentences, so I put two and two together and realized I wasn’t being rational. But my urge to knit the thing had been sapped.
Last week I awoke at 2 AM hearing my inner voice telling me I was a hideous, loathsome human being because I hadn’t even made that baby blanket. For some reason, that spurred me into high gear, and four days later, the second half of the baby blanket was completed, bound off, and the ends woven in. It still looked like a series of mistakes loosely looped together, but there was nothing for it. I’d done what I’d set out to do.
I tossed it into the washing machine (it’s acrylic, yet another reason to hate it) and tried to forget all about it.
When it came out, I spread out the thing, and behold:
The mistakes were gone.
Long, long ago, Ivy told me one of the most common knitting mistakes is to say to oneself, “It’ll come out in the blocking.” That what you see is, in general, what you get. And yet here I was, staring at this lovely blanket with all the uneven stitches evened out by a simple trip through the washer and dryer.
And it makes me wonder, is this what happens after we die, when God binds off our souls and tosses us into the divine washing machine? All the uneven little bits get washed and spun into evenness, and the pattern itself becomes visible as everything it ought to have been. The truth nature of what we’ve become is evident, and we’re blocked: the lace becomes straight, the slubs become even.
I’m not saying our small sins — the moments we snap at people, the good deeds left undone — are unimportant. But maybe over time, those are things God can easily wash out of us. Whereas the larger defects — a row of knits instead of a row of purls, or a lifetime of stealing — actually change the nature of the fabric we’ve created.
Maybe Grace and Mercy make up for a lot of our human nature, a lot more than I ever thought. Maybe in the end, God looks at our souls and is pleased with what he made, and says, “Look! It came out in the blocking!”