Reply To: Sunday, February 27: Plain Talking

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Posted by Kathleen M. Kelly on March 1, 2022 at 2:25 am #122078

This doesn’t exactly address these reading directly but, the readings inform my journey and the following has been coming together these last weeks.

Prayer shirt


It started out as a thrift store find. The blouse had a gaping hole at the top of the sleeve, but the fabric was good. I took it home and painstakingly patched it with fabric from another blouse. Seemingly hundreds of tiny stitches. Then, I embroidered a swirl design over it.


Thinking I was done, I wore the shirt, but looking down, I noticed several tiny frayed spots on one side of the front. Knowing  that something not worth doing is worth doing badly, I decided to embroider fireflies on top to the mended spots. I love fireflies and fancy myself one.


All done with a multitude of fireflies in blue and pale yellow, I see two more emerging holes on the back. Two butterflies embroidered over those mended holes.


Meanwhile, It become clear that this shirt with all the holes which I was attempting to reclaim was a metaphor for my own state of disruption after a move, with its’ accompanying emotions.


Then, I pondered how our God takes each of us, the wounded and torn beings that we are. Some of us have been relegated to the trash heap of humanity. Failures, beyond repair. But, our God does not give up. He (she) takes us as we are and tends to us. He makes something beautiful out of something that is so broken. She so wants to redeem people, even the people doing the really bad things.


To bring this experience to a close, I embroidered the final words of God’s Grandeur by Gerard Manley Hopkins. The whole poem encapsulates my understanding of the fragility of humanity and….it’s grandeur.


On the collar, I embroidered: Aw!

Down the button placket, only barely visible, in yellow, I embroidered Bright Wings.


How lucky I was to spend a couple of weeks with the ruined shirt, making it into a prayer that I can wear and feel like a manifestation of God’s love for the world.