Weaving With the Dark Threads

When I committed to submitting a post for Reunion Week at BoP, I had no idea what the topic would be. Later, I find that it’s what seems to be my life’s theme: Wait Upon the Lord (she said through gritted teeth). This notion of waiting on Him is frustrating because there’s no accounting for God’s timing in terms of human reason—he doesn’t typically move when we want him to or when we think he will. What seems like an amazing waste of time and resources, an unnecessary delay of a promise, a painful postponement of a dream, is deeply meaningful to Him who sees the end from the beginning. And so this post is as much for me as for anyone

20170122_192803After my grandmother (my Mom’s mom) passed away on December 25, 2011, my family had the sad duty to clear away the material accumulation of a life well spent. In this process, somehow, I managed to hang on to a little printed card Grandma kept posted on the refrigerator with a magnet. Vaguely, I remember seeing it and reading it while she was still able to answer my questions about it, but in my shallowness of heart, I did not think to ask. Here are the lines that I now keep on posted in my own house:

The Plan of the Master Weaver

My life is but a weaving
Between the Lord and me,
I may not choose the colors,
He knows what they should be;
For He can view the pattern
Upon the upper side
While I can see it only
From this the under side.

Sometimes He wealth sorrow,
Which seemeth strange to me;
But I wil trust His judgement;
And work on faithfully;
’Tis He who fills the shuttle,
And He who knows what’s best,
So I will weave in earnest,
Leaving to Him the rest.

Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttle ceases to fly
Shall God unroll the Canvas
And explain the reason why –
The Dark threads are as needed
In the Weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

gty_painful_hands_ll_130805_16x9_608I know I have written about her before, so I won’t expand on this now, but Grandma is the great example of childlike faith in my life. She was a woman of reserved character and few words, especially about something so close and personal as her faith, but she clung to Jesus through a life filled with trials, especially in her battles with cancer and other health problems that plagued much of her adult life. I also know she and Granddaddy planned to have 6 children, but only my mother came from their union. Mom is the world to me, of course, but knowing Grandma’s heart longed for so much more that didn’t come is sobering, and reminds me of the poem of the weaver.

When we read about the attributes of God, predictability is not one of them. And when I think about it, I’m thankful for that, because as a person that at my core doesn’t value routine much anyway, I can appreciate His perspective: the beauty of each life, written out with uniqueness, distinct from all the others, but interdependent with the rest of the world. Notice that the unknown author of the poem capitalizes “Canvas,” which is our life, imbued with worth because of who is weaving it. Notice “Dark” is also capitalized to further stress the relevance of those times we would prefer to forget. But fortunately, faithfulness is one of his attributes. He does do what He says He will, and He always acts consistently with His attributes.

I so want to end this post on a high note, with a flourish of life-changing inspiration, but reader, I’m in the trenches with you. So here is the testimony I have claimed for about 6 years and counting:

I would have despaired, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait I say on the Lord.  Psalm 27:13-14


IMG_7616Joni Butler has called the ‘Ham home since 2012. Officially, she’s here for employment but has found a home here at Breath. Though an avid diarist for years, this is her first writing gig. Jesus is her best friend and she loves pursuing Him passionately.  We welcome Joni today at Breath on Paper.

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