Today’s world is a depressing place because all we hear is the bad stuff. Terror, war, earthquakes, famine, joblessness, the list can go on forever. But there’s more to this world than bad stuff. There’s goodness to be found but we have to keep our eyes open for it.
We all, each one of us, has gifts and talents and those gifts and talents, if we let them, can go a long way to make this place a better place to be.
When I was about 10 or 11 years old, my mother taught me the arts of crochet and knitting. After frustration, and fits and starts, I decided to focus on crochet instead of knitting but then as I grew older, and my skill level increased, an interesting thing happened. Not only did I find that the art of crochet is one of my gifts but that when I make items for others’ benefit, I also receive a blessing in return.
I only know a handful of people who crochet. In today’s society of I want it yesterday instant gratification, projects like this are way so old fashioned because they take time, a lot of time, to complete. The funny thing is, people want these items. They love them and some will fork over hundreds of dollars for a handmade item they find in the store.
I could probably make some pretty good money doing this but I choose not to.
I’ve made a few afghans but no more. I’ve decided they take too long to make and a better use of my hands and time is to make smaller items. These days, I’m crocheting shawls, namely prayer shawls because there are so many people out there who are hurting in some way or another and if they had something to wrap themselves in, it could help provide comfort for the body, mind and soul.
Crocheting calls me back to a slower time. It makes me slow down and to focus on the work of my hands. It makes me take my time to make something I can be proud of and happy with. The yarn I use must feel good to my hands and the color and pattern must be pleasing to my eyes. As I work, at first the item doesn’t seem like much but then my labor unfolds like magic and I become awestruck because it just doesn’t seem possible that I’m actually making something that looks good.
On the other hand, I’ve also been known to rip out rows and rows because something was just not right. I hate having to do that. All that time and work, destroyed. But I have high standards for my work because I want it to be the best it can be and if the item doesn’t meet them, then out it comes so I can rework it into something better. I have to be happy with it otherwise I won’t finish it.
I’ll be honest. Sometimes, I just want to speed through the project just to get it finished because I found some really good yarn I want to use or a really cool pattern I want to start. But working like this doesn’t feed my soul and I have to force myself to not think this way.
I have to remind myself that it’s not just about me.
Lately I’ve stepped outside my comfort zone and picked up knitting again and am making a shawl with the basic knitting stitch. It’s not the most perfect looking item but I think it looks pretty good and in the end, it will help someone who needs it.
I saw this status update on Facebook this week. I’ve known this young lady for nearly her whole life and every time I turn around, she’s putting herself out there and doing what she can to help others. She’s only 19.
What about you? Do you do anything to help others? How does it makes you feel? Does it help you as much as it helps them? I’d love to hear about it.
Take care now,