It occurred to me this Sunday at church that I was surrounded by people who had lived a lifetime of holiness, and I can barely raise my kids.
I’m also easily-distracted, so during Mass, I also noticed one of those holier-than-Jane people, whom I’ve seen around the church often and around Angelborough sometimes, was wearing a hand-knitted hat. Even from a distance, I could see it had been strangely made.
Later I saw why: the hat consisted of five garter-stitch square panels which had then been sewn together. The garter-stitch panels themselves were awkwardly made, and the seams were puckered because that’s not really the way you’re supposed to make a hat.
I thought, “I could offer to teach her how to knit in the round.”
It seemed like a good idea until the next moment, when it dawned on me that she probably hadn’t made it herself. That it might have been made by one of her children, or maybe even a grandchild,and for supporting evidence, I’ll offer the fact that the hat was magenta-colored. That’s the perfect color to knit with if you’re a child because it’s an exciting color: everyone loves magenta.
I remember being eight years old, and using my weaving loom to make a scarf for my father. It may have been for Father’s Day, or maybe his birthday (but given my common sense, I probably did give him winter gear in June). The finished product was only about twelve inches long. But my father assured me it was just fine for a scarf, that see, it fit around his neck (barely!!! Don’t try to swallow your coffee, Dad!) and that this was just the right length to have it lie flat beneath his coat collar and keep him warm.
Delighted, I took a picture of my dad proudly wearing this thing that he might have taken home and used as a place mat. But I’d made it for him. Awkward, clumsy, well-night useless, but his kid had made it.
And here I was in church, confronted by a woman proudly wearing a rather awkward magenta hat, and she might as well have been holding a sign saying “I love the child who made this.”
I only hope God loves our awkward offerings the same way, that God would turn up at church wearing our good deeds and showing them to his friends. “Oh, Jane made this. Isn’t that neat?”
Or maybe not mentioning it at all, just knowing that He was carrying a part of us around with Him (and us knowing it too), and it was keeping Him warm.