My grandmother made quilts. Time and effort were invested in these works of art. Larger fabric swatches were cut into individual pieces. These pieces were hand sewn together to make larger blocks. Stitch by stitch, pieces became blocks and blocks became quilt tops. A layer of batting was sandwiched between the quilt top and backing. The three layers were attached to a quilting frame. Then the layers were hand tied with a special quilting thread producing the finished creation.
I still have a couple of Grandma’s quilts. I decided to retrieve them from storage. I looked closely at each fabric piece that became a part of these artistic masterpieces. Many of the pieces looked familiar.
So many memories tied together creating one quilt. However, I discover more than memories. I also find spiritual symbolism. God’s handiwork creates human quilts.
I perceive a sacred quilt pictured in I Corinthians 12:12-31. I highlight a few of the verses. (v12) For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. (v14) For the body is not one member, but many. (v18) But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. (v20)But now there are many members, but one body. (v25) so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. (v27) Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.
Paul describes the various parts of the human body knit together to form one body. Then he compares this concept to multiple members making up the body of Christ. I am looking at numerous fabric pieces combined into one quilt.
As a child, my favorite cover was a crazy quilt. This patchwork of fabric displayed multiple colors, shapes and sizes. All were sewn together. There was no evident design in the finished product. However, I recognized many of the quilt pieces as fabric from dresses worn by my grandmother and mother. I even noticed some swatches of material from dresses I wore.
As I closely examined the fabric squares, rectangles and triangles of Grandma’s quilt, I suspect the shape of some fabric pieces may have been determined by a tear or rip in the original material. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we are quilted into God’s comforter irregardless of our past. He accepts us as we are. He forgives our sins and works us into His pattern of humanity. We become a block of His sacred quilt.
I remember a childhood song that proclaims “Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white. They are precious in His sight.” God created people with different skin colors. All are part of His carnal coverlet. No two people have exactly the same physical build. However, all are loved by God. People vary in ages, but all are very welcome in God’s heirloom quilt.
Another comforter in Grandma’s quilt collection was composed of uniform blocks. It was a hexagon flower garden quilt. Each block was composed of various shades and patterns of one primary color. The same quilted design was evident in each square. Some exhibited brighter and bolder colors while others were more subdued. Some swatches were solid colors while others had busier patterns. However, the same octagon floral design was evident in the final outcome of all the blocks. Although there was diversity among the quilt blocks, there was also unity.
Spiritually, each person’s life becomes a unique block of God’s creation. The Holy Spirit works quietly in each of us preparing us to be a part of God’s quilt. Swatches of the Spirit’s fruit and gifts are evident. A different personality is prominent in each living square.
After looking at the tops of my grandmother’s quilts, I turned them over. The back was the same on all the coverlets. Each one was one solid color. Not very interesting but practical. The middle layer of batting added weight and warmth to the complete comforter. The warmth of the final quilt was primarily determined by the type of batting used.
Just as a fabric quilt has three layers, there are three layers in God’s quilting creation. We have spent considerable time describing the quilt top and finding ourselves as individual blocks.
Now, what is the backing? There is a song entitled He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. It refers to little tiny babies, brothers and sisters. It sounds like a lot of quilt blocks held in God’s hands. Our Heavenly Father may be our quilt backing. Maybe His love represents the middle batting. I envision the Holy Spirit as the yarn or thread that binds all together.
My grandma was a quilter who made fabric quilts. God is the Master Quilter creating His sacred quilt of humanity. He is quietly quilting the events of my life and your life into personal blocks. His human quilt is continually being worked upon. However, we have the promise that one day it will be beautiful and complete. According to Ecclesiastes 3:11, God makes everything beautiful in its time.
It is cold outside today. I think I will cuddle under a quilt to keep warm. How about you? Would you like to snuggle under a quilt and allow the Holy Spirit to do some quiet quilting in your life?