Thursday, April 24, 2014

God's Hand on the Skein... Part 2

Years ago, long before i knew her, she suffered. You can't tell it by listening to her energetic words or looking into her sparkling eyes. She doesn't ruminate over what was. She had loved and been hurt and suffered marks from the hurting. She had bravely stood against the injustice of bigger muscles being used in ways all wrong. And in time, she had forgiven it and laid it down ----- laid it down at the foot of the Cross --- where Holy blood spilled to cover all that should not have been.
i love her.

Never telling details. Never re-digesting the pain. But always perched and ready to hold a hurting heart tenderly because she knows the difference tenderness can make.
She has a room in her house ----- a small special room --- where she sits with Yahweh and talks and listens and learns and is made new, often.

She's tiny beside me --- my eyes look down towards her when we're talking --- but my heart, it sees her by looking up. I can tell her anything. She's never judged me one time --- not when i was being petty or self-condemning or weak or fearful. She just gets this tender strong look in her eye and helps lift me back up. She has seen me break over the pain of Kenyan sisters. She amazes me. She didn't shrink away from their pain. She used her own pain in years past to enable her to scoot up close beside them. What the enemy had intended for harm ---- she allowed GOD to use for good. And she loves deeply, unselfishly, unconditionally, completely.

She's one of three ladies i lean into when the winds blow too hard inside.

Months ago i wrote of skeins and knots and gentle hands straightening tangled yarn. If you haven't read it yet, you can click here to read it now.
She makes me feel so loved --- not only does she read what i write, but she often messages me in some special way. Those of us who write understand --- when we bare our innards, we feel a bit exposed. Words of affirmation and encouragement matter.

Two days after reading "God has His hand on the Skein of me..." ---- she sent deeper thoughts to me ---- i've rolled them around for several months now --- asked then if i could someday share --- and so finally... here's the next "chapter" inspired by insights from my dear warrior friend.

The Skein Part 2 - 

It seems my dear friend had been knitting a blanket. When she was forced to pause from her work to untangle one of those knots that emerged from the center of her chosen skein, she laid down needles, straightened what was a mess, and resumed her work. 
Knitting away, working on a knew pattern, she was eager to see if the blanket would emerge as she had imagined it would be. But as it formed in her lap ----- she didn't like the look of it. She said, "It was too porous. my hard work was producing something that looked more like a decorative doily rather than a cozy blanket."

She could have become angry and frustrated over the unwanted results. She could have tucked blanket, needles, skein and all in a corner cabinet and walked away. She could have literally thrown it all away -- refusing to spend anymore time on the unsightly outcome.
She laid her needles down and gently pulled the string of yarn ----- slowly unwinding the blanket she had just created moments before.
She ----- "left the old behind ----- and started afresh --- using the same yarn she had used before".

Sounds familiar... "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on..."

Lovely indeed. The yarn itself was not ruined. Only the way in which it had been used was producing an unwanted, useless, undesirable result. 
Noticing the faint kinks in the string of yarn laid out before her, she could see "it had seen some storms but it was still strong, pliable, and usable".

Oh how like me...
maybe like you as well...
We get wounded in this world don't we? We sometimes get "used" and twisted and formed into something we don't want to be. Didn't ask for it - wouldn't have chosen it - but find ourselves all porous and unable to keep even the slightest chill at bay. 
Those are the moments when the deceiver puts an evil megaphone to our ear and shouts in to our weakest places --- "look at you, you're useless, you'll never be enough, you'll never be what the others are, you're no good for anything ---- why keep trying..."

Oh dear God! Thank you for saving us from the lying accuser. Thank you for your words... for your WORD --- you say, "You did not choose me, but I, God, chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit -- fruit that will last..." 

You take the porous blanket we are disappointed in ---- 
and you gently pull the cord of yarn, 
unwinding us, 
even to our core. 
You see what can be, if we will only lay ourselves in your hands and accept the knitting needles you choose to us. Struggling = knots.
..."though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death... i will not fear... for You are with me... your rod and your staff, they comfort me..." 
...and a staff can look like a knitting needle sometimes.

You don't lie to us, acting as if all is well, when knots are all inside us.
You don't leave us.
You come to us. 
You touch all the holes we wearily carry ---- and you begin working your plans with the yarn that has been so poorly used by lesser hands.

Mary Magdelene was surely a beauty on the outside; but inside she was a used, porous blanket that could neither shield her soul from the chilling wind nor offer good comfort to another. She had been deemed guilty and bad, evil and adulterous. Men were preparing to stone her. That's what they do to those of us who don't measure up. 
But not You. 
Lord, You saw "her". 
You saw the strands of yarn that had been so wrongly used. You knew that even she didn't see value in the skein of yarn holding her in a poorly made blanket of bondage. No one saw the great value ---- but You did. And you stepped towards her.

No matter where we are... or how we look... or what we've become... You are always stepping towards us.

And if we will lay ourselves down in your hands, You will begin reworking us. 
Remaking us. 
Redeeming us.
... You begin unwinding us --- oh Lord, we do live wound up tightly don't we.
And then when we feel ourselves lying helpless, unable, surrendered... 
that's when you know we are ready to begin becoming what you've seen us as all along
You use your great staff and you knit us together in new ways. You, know what is need and we've f-i-n-a-l-l-y realized we do NOT.

My dear friend ended her note to me with these perfect words... 

..."this time the weave is stronger and the stitch more beautiful! Just like what Jesus does with us!"

(My dearest Sandra... it's taken me a whole year to finally share the rest of the story of the yarn. i wrote the first part in April before we moved to Kenya... and now the second part finally comes. Thank you for the many ways you've helped our Abba rework and redeem the yarn that holds me together. You are beauty among us.)

©2014 Donna Taylor/Reaching for the Robe


  1. this is beautiful! i love all the illustrations the Lord gave you from the time you spent with Him rolling it around in your head. so true, all of it.

    1. Dearest Jenn --- isn't it so wonderful how the Lord can show us His goodness towards us even through things like knitting needles and knotted yarn. i know you and i share the joy of watching for our Abba in all the ways that too easily slide past us. love you my dear friend --- (used those special measuring spoons just minutes ago make apple muffins --- :) -- love you so much Jenn!!!! (thank you for the coffee) :)

  2. wow. such insight... I'm always feel myself huddling up closer to the Lord, as I read your blogs, listening for His voice to me through your stories and words... and oh how I miss Sandra!... I only had the privilege to meet with her for a couple months, but she is just as you describe. And I know I could call her at any moment and spill my guts and cry and she would just love me as her own child. She's precious - and I love her! Thank you for connecting us Donna. Thank you for sharing here- for always being I LOVE your sweet heart!

    "...For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. (THIS IS SO HARD!!!) For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Cor.4:17-18

    And as Sandra always said to us...
    - "I'm loving you. "
    XO Shannon Towe

    1. Oh precious Shannon --- i'm hugging you so tight right now... imagine we are so far apart (in miles) but so close in heart. How thankful i am you got to meet dear Sandra, she's one of the treasures God shares with us both isn't she. I love you dear Shannon!!! God is amazing how He knits His girls together --- i'm so thankful! i feel you here with me often... please feel me there with you my friend. love - love - love --- feel loved!