In the fall of 2012, I was presented with a prayer blanket by the Pennellville Merry Stitchers. A series of unfortunate circumstances meant that I was only pastor in Pennellville for a few short months, but they had been very exciting and rich months of ministry. I have fond memories of walking down the street by the church, enjoying the occasionally rustic smell from the nearby farm, and the warm people I came to know briefly.
Their prayer blanket has come with me many places. I took it on the airplane when I flew to Ireland despite my terrible dislike of airplanes. It has been with me in moments of doubt. The prayer blanket has draped my shoulders through many a difficult moment of discernment.
Today the blanket is rolled up and supporting my back. I have had intermittent back troubles over the past few years and my back flared up after a long and stressful weekend. This morning as the medicine soothes muscle spasms, the prayer blanket is against the area of trouble. The sacred stitches are bringing comfort to hurting places.
We do not often know how the things we do will affect other people. Sometimes the things that we do have negative consequences which we do not expect. Sometimes, the things we do bring blessing into unexpected areas. As my back rests against this bearer of prayers and blessing, I am reminded of good people and that they, for a brief time, loved me deeply as their pastor. There is a healing power to those memories and thoughts.
Stitch a stitch today. If you cannot stitch, then be merry. May your actions bless the world across years, even when you cannot see the effect of your love on others. Be a blessing.