Holey and Holy

prayer square.jpg

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.” – Psalm 139:13-14

"Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” - Colossians 3:12

One of my college friends came for lunch, bounding in the door, offering hugs still larger than life. We hadn't seen each other in-person for several years, but as friends and sisters in Christ, we shared a history that spanned a few ups and downs.

Kay handed me a small gift bag made of colorful cloth, ribbon-tied with flair. At her request, I emptied it onto the counter. Most of the items were practical, yet thoughtful goodies, including a devotional and Scripture verse. My eyes fell to a curious piece of knitting, a small rectangle of dark green yarn.

Kay began to explain how she was just learning to knit. She proudly held up her first project, a "Prayer Square". As she dangled the stitching between us, two small holes became obvious – not planned holes for affect; these were irregularly spaced holes where stitches had been dropped.

She apologized for the irregular Prayer Square. I thanked Kay for her thoughtfulness and we went on to enjoy our short time together – laughing, celebrating and eating.

Then it was time to part. When final goodbyes were said and our friends pulled away, I reached for the small swatch of knitting once more. I was genuinely moved, but I wasn't sure why. And then I began to understand its significance. Kay had entrusted me with her handiwork – though it was flawed. Then I began to wonder, would I have taken the same risk, or would my pride have kept me from giving it to my friend?

The Bible tells us, "Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience,” (Colossians 3:12). I had witnessed my friend's spiritual fruit in action. She had not only given me her first knitting creation, she had made me a Prayer Square, which I continue to use today.

Kay knew I would be the one to appreciate it best, and that in my prayer time, I would be reminded of how holey all of our lives are, but with prayer, we can know perfection.

Tears came into my eyes as I realized that Kay trusted me with her imperfection. She wasn't looking for approval. This small green square of knitting was a reminder of our long-held friendship, a journey not without its own trials and tribulations. I knew this Prayer Square stood as a witness of our loving friendship -- though not perfect, still bound together in Christ's love and forgiveness.

It became clear that this little patch of green yarn was much more than it would appear. It represented the way God has shown us to live in relationship with one another in the Body of Christ – with humility, trust, and love. It also shouted grace, mercy, and forgiveness – highlighting a lasting relationship with God.

I knew then that this Prayer Square would be used for than just praying . . . it would also be used for teaching me how to live. Who would have imagined so much truth would be woven into a simple knitted patch of green yarn?

A couple of years later, as Kay's knitting improved, she replaced the first Holey and Holy Prayer Square with a new one, pictured here. But, as you can probably guess . . . the first prayer square holds a special place in my heart!

Prayer: 
"Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." -Isaiah 41:10
Date: 
Sep 20 2017