Wrapped with God’s love
A sick, elderly man facing his end clutched the green, shell-stitched shawl that lay across his thin frame and found courage in the love imbuing every stitch.
A woman grieving her son’s death wrapped a multi-colored, fringed shawl around her shoulders as she prayed for comfort.
More than 70 such shawls, each unique, have been knit and crocheted by women of Peace Lutheran Church since the group began meeting two years ago this month. They have delivered their love-blessed creations to the troubled, the sick, the grieving and the dying among church members, relatives and friends.
Especially as the weather turns damp and cold, the shawls remind each recipient of love – human and divine – that shores them up during times of trial.
PEACE member Bobbi Meyer started the group; she loves to knit and passes spare time with yarn and needles in hand. She heard about prayer shawls from a friend, who made them with a group at her church. Meyer found fuel in “Knitting into the Mystery,” by Susan Jorgensen. Then, a few years ago, Peace leaders asked members about talents they have to share, and Meyer couldn’t shake off the urge to reflect God’s love in this way.
“I felt God was leading me and giving me all the tools,” Meyer said. “The way that it all came together, I knew it was meant to be.”
Anyone wishing to join PEACE’s Prayer Shawl Ministry or donate yarn in good condition may contact the church at (530) 273-9631.
Knots of love
Now, up to five or six women gather in Meyer’s home on the first Monday of each month and work on their projects at other times as well. They pray light and comfort into every stitch, knitting the recipient’s needs into each shawl. They pray over finished shawls and tie a tag on each bearing the names of creator and recipient, telling that the shawl “has been passed around our gathered circle, passed through our praying hands and blessed by our loving hearts.”
Meyer and her gang of needle workers see their work as a ministry of love and support. “It’s amazing the stories we hear about the shawls,” she added.
The basic pattern for a knit prayer shawl is knit three, purl three. The pattern of threes is found in every religion and culture, Meyer reflected. As a Christian, it reminds her of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit – the three-in-one God. It also reminds Christians of the virtues St. Paul describes in 1 Corinthians: faith, hope and love.
“The greatest of these,” St. Paul concludes, “is love.”