Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dropping Stitches

For the past several weeks, I have enjoyed many hours spent with my knitting needles, a ball of yarn, and my son. I started working on my Magical Postpartum Scarf a few weeks before giving birth, but didn't get much done then. At one point, as the postpartum days flew by, I decided to pick it up again. 

Knitting this scarf was so peaceful. A simple stockinette stitch, I did not have to keep track of row numbers or quirky patterns. Rhythmic, straightforward, soothing. Knit a row. Purl a row. Smile at my baby as he pulls a section of the scarf into his mouth. Knit a row. 

In this gentle, relaxing process, there was a sad reality that loomed over my head: Once I reached the end of the piece, I would drop every third stitch and proceed to unravel hours of my hard work. My greatest fear was that, upon reaching the fateful row, I would accidentally drop the wrong stitches and somehow my entire scarf would come undone. 

In the hours of knitting and caring for baby Peter, I thought about dropping those stitches. How, even though I was going to let some of my work unravel, the end product would be incredibly beautiful (or so I hoped). 

 I thought about how I have "dropped stitches" in my own life, too. 

Pulling away from God and other people, slacking off in my spiritual life, heaving around heavy burdens of guilt and regret. And yet, despite all of the regrettable things I did-and will continue to do-God continues to pour out his love, mercy, and graces on my soul. Even when it seems like so much good work has been for naught and unravels in  life because of things I have said or done, God pulls, prompts, moves, and irons things into place, creating a beautiful masterpiece. 

No matter what "stitches" each of us has "dropped," God eagerly offers His redemption and love to us. As St. Paul writes,
But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:8 
We still have a few months left in the Year of Mercy, and I encourage each of you to take these last several weeks and really open yourself up to God's loving, radical mercy. Look at the ways in which God has used the "dropped stitches" in your life to glorify Him. Read the Diary of St. Faustina and let God's words of love seep into your heart. Receive the Sacrament of Confession and open yourself up to God's powerful graces, so that you may reject sin in your life. Joyfully accept the gift of the Eucharist at Mass. God is a joyful, passionate lover, desiring a more intimate relationship with you. I've made mistakes and dropped stitches-even on purpose. I've messed up. But I come running to Christ, receive the Sacraments, and see God take a life full of twists, turns, and faults, and turn it into an incredible statement of His glory. 
My lover speaks and says to me, "Arise, my friend, my beautiful one, and come!" ~Songs 2:10


  1. Beautiful thoughts and I love the idea of "dropped stitches" in your life. I taught myself how to knit a few years back though, and I will say that unraveling your hard work is the worst thing ever!

    1. Thanks, Jenny! Oh my, it really is-that's the element that made this quite simple scarf so challenging to create.

  2. Great analogy! I don't knit, so I was a little lost at first, but I get it.
    I appreciate this encouragement, especially as we head into the holiday season.