We do not know how much time we have. It is a precious commodity and a most generous gift when we choose to “give it away”. This realization struck me about 20 years ago. Each year we are asked to ponder our resources and give sacrificially. Instead of dollars what I was able to give was time, my most precious resource. Until this realization, I never equated the time I spent on Altar Guild duties, cooking for Lenten Suppers, serving in the soup kitchen or knitting prayer shawls or ‘scrubbies’ as a sacrifice and I still don’t. In indirect ways, I received more than I ever gave. I find this to be true with any of the hand made items that I gift, a photograph, a plant, a meal, a ride, a quilt or a ‘scrubby’. What the recipient does not know is they are filled with prayer.
Water has always been a very relaxing, comforting place for me. I float easily and have to be careful that I don’t lull myself to sleep. When floating is not possible, a nice warm comforting shower can provide the same calm feeling. So imaging having your hands in dishwater or in a nice warm shower and washing with a ‘scrubbie’. This cloth was created with the mantra peace, comfort, love, health, strength, grace. The prayers that were prayed while making it will stay in reserve with that ‘scrubbie’ until those prayers are needed. The recipient will not know where the answer to their need came from but it is there for them when they ask. All they have to do is ask. What a priceless gift to be able to give and give in ‘secret’ as we were called to do.
People have asked if they can buy the ‘scrubbies’. My reply is that they were made from my heart and my heart does not take money. I will gladly give them some and if they want a set number or they can buy the yarn. If they are so inclined they can make a donation to their favorite charity or whatever they are called to do. If a check comes to me it goes into the discretionary account for those in need. I learned many years ago that a gift needs to not have strings or expectations attached to it. I created it out of love and the love stays with the creation to be used when needed. We all need the love and prayers of others to make us whole.
During this trying time, let us continue giving our time in whatever way with prayer and hopes of a brighter tomorrow as we all grow in love.
BIO The Rev. Karulynn Koelliker
I am a Deacon in the Episcopal Church serving at Emmanuel Greenwood in the Diocese of Virginia. I have been ordained for 9 years. I lived most of my adult life along the coast of Georgia. I returned to my roots in Virginia 3 years ago. All is new and in many ways exciting while being challenging. My needlework journey had provided many opportunities to grow and create, vestments and paraments for churches where I worshipped, my own stoles that are quilted and appliquéd, and making many prayer shawls to name a few. The meanings or feelings associated with colors cross mediums and add special significance to the things that I create. Doing what I love and doing it with prayer adds a wonderful dimension to the finished offering.
Project Update: Rows 27-28, 1-6 of Pattern 56 of the Japanese Stitch Bible