Over the weekend one of the readings was on the Spiritual Gifts. How we’re all part of the same group (the same body), and yet we’re different, and we have different functions (jobs). There are so many things that flit through my head as I think about the gifts. And today I’m going to look at the beauty of our differences and how, when we’re working together, our work(s) complement one another.
I’m often really impressed with some of the folks I work with. There is something about their generosity, the way they teach, the way they share and nurture that shows me the way. This kind of generosity is often behind the scenes or done in such a way that it’s just part of who they are, where it’s not so much noticed.
The flip of that statement is also true, there are a lot of folks that I’m not impressed with for a variety of reasons. (I’m honest enough to know that folks have the same views of me.) Being impressed or not has absolutely no affect on how I see the value of the person. A person is a person and should be valued as such. I can’t tell you how annoyed I get with myself when I get so frustrated with someone that the thought comes to mind, “I have no use for you”. It happens. I get frustrated, perhaps hurt and that ugly thought comes to mind. It’s like saying I have no use for my fingers. I do. I’m typing right now. It’s not about using you, it’s about seeing the gift of who you are in my life. Some “gifts” have allowed me to learn how to stand up for myself, to see my own value as a woman, as a quilter, and more. There is so much more here.
Over the weekend I was trying to write a story. I knew part of the information, and started something good. I sought help for writing the story. Something about it just wasn’t working for me, and I knew it. I needed help. I got the help that I needed and the story is so much better. There’s so much depth that I couldn’t provide.
Our gifts complemented one another. We worked together, each of us doing the part of the work that we could do. We used our “gifts” to the best of our ability. And I asked for help when I could not see or hear the words that needed writing. What this person wrote was just beautiful and did justice to the subject matter. The ability to let go, to set aside what I’m doing, what I have in mind, what I want makes room for something amazing to happen.
A long time ago I worked with an amazing group of people in a ministry type of setting. We had our rough spots, times where things were downright difficult as we learned how to work together and work with the folks we were serving. As I sit here typing I can see so many faces of some really beautiful people. I can also see and feel some really challenging moments. When we worked together, when we put the “other” first, when we used the gifts we’d been given, and gave up desiring the “gifts” of others . . . The hardest moments, the most difficult moments, came from a source that was unexpected.
Quilting, in my world, is part of life, it is a gift in so many ways. It is, for me a gift that like the spiritual gifts, needs to be exercised and used, stretched and pushed, shared and learned. Quilt making shows the way of working together for something harmonious, something that speaks to the heart, stretching us in such beautiful ways. The quilt making world, when it’s working well, is so beautiful and generous. When it’s not, when there is strife and turmoil it gets, well you know. Icky.
Oddly enough, I think we need it. Without the tension, without the struggle we can’t see the beauty. We wouldn’t learn to work together well. We wouldn’t learn how our gifts complement the other. We wouldn’t learn how to step-back to view things differently. We wouldn’t learn how to step-back and let others shine. Just like we evaluate the pattern, fabrics and decorative stitching on our quilts….is it working? if it is great! let’s go with it. If it’s not, great, let’s evaluate what needs to change for the good of the quilt. Let’s be brave enough, take a risk to make that happen. Quilting is a gift…I’m off to explore my part of the quilting world a little more deeply. (I’m having coffee with a quilting friend.)
God bless & Happy Quilting,