How proud of me am I?!? I have finished knitting my first prayer shawl ever, and am happy to say that it turned out even better than I hoped. It is hardly a work of art to be sure, but definitely a work of love. It is lovely and soft and warm, and infused with all the comfort and love I could knit in. Thanks to Mom for the refresher course in basic knitting techniques, and to Valerie for introducing me to the whole concept of prayer shawls..."the energy of prayer in solid form", as my blogging friend Annie put it.
As I knit, I held my family and friends in my heart, and prayed for strangers such as Deborah's friend Susie, whom I have met only through the stories of others. I discovered that knitting prayer shawls is very comforting...the rhythm is soothing, plus the simplicity of this pattern does not require much concentration so my mind is free to wander, to dream, to pray...to think about the people I love...to feel the presence of God in and around me.
I quite often sang too while knitting, songs of worship or whatever happy music ran through me and set my toes a-tapping (a rousing chorus of Mamma Mia, anyone?) Plus, in Miss Ninja's words, "there is a foot of Newfoundland knit in the shawl". She sat with me for a couple hours one evening, and told me all about her visit with her best friend and family (although I gave up trying to figure out who was who in the extended version!) Of course the little turkey is tickled pink that she has now visited Newfoundland and I have not! :o) But I'm so glad she had such a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to her stories.
As I knit more shawls, which I definitely intend to do, I will give them to the prayer shawl ministry at my church so they can go to anyone in need of their miraculous comfort. But I know that this, my first one, is meant for Valerie. A couple months ago, she seemed to be feeling down and I was wishing there was someway I could bring her comfort, instead of always the other way around...one evening, while tucked up in my own prayer shawl and marvelling again, and as always, at the powerful feeling of being wrapped in God's arms, I thought of knitting a shawl for her. And I did...so I will offer it to her and hopefully she doesn't already have a closet full.