My mother loves to knit and we have many examples of her knitting giftedness around our house. We have an afghan that she made I don’t know how many years ago that is in regular use down in our basement where we watch TV/movies. Our kids all have ones she made when they were born and this one pictured is one that just recently arrived for our daughter. It has been on her bed every night since and she often walks around the house wrapped in it. I love seeing it because I know that the afghan was created by my mother’s hands and its like my daughter is wrapped in her love. My mother also knits prayer shawls for people in need through the church they attend. Its a ministry similar to the prayer quilt ministry that our congregation has – people in need or for times of celebration receiving a quilt created by people at the church and prayed over by the congregation.
Nouwen quotes Paul’s letter to the Colossians when he writes that “we are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved” and that we are to “clothe ourselves in compassion.” We have received compassion from God and are called to pass that compassion to others. We see the compassion in the birth stories of Jesus – stories of compassion of mothers to newborn children. We see the compassion in the ministry of Jesus as he grew into adulthood and the ways he reached out to those who were hurting. We see compassion in so many ways many ways, but today I give thanks for this beautiful example of how my mother clothes her grandchildren (and me and my wife) in compassion.