Sunday, July 25, 2010

Knit Together

"For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb."

I said these words at a hospital on Tuesday in the late afternoon. We said these words because a baby had just been born, and his mother was holding him, and his father was standing over him, and his grandparents and his aunt were in the room.

The baby had died before he was born. No one knows why. He was beautiful, and all along the doctors had said he was perfect.

That afternoon we named him, as we also prayed and read scripture. We loved him. His mother and his father and his grandparents and his big sister and his aunt had loved him before his was born, as he was being knit together and as everyone was marvelling at his growth, and anticipating his birth.

The ones who loved him, they were also being knit together, they were knit together in their common love for one another and for him, in their anticipation and hope. Now they were knit together in grief as well.

On Friday many people came together in a memorial service. We prayed and sang. The baby's big sister danced during "Children of the Heavenly Father." There were families and friends and people from work, and people from our church, all being knit together in love and hope and in grief.

Some people in our church have known this family, this father and mother, since they were children. They have walked together, learned together, worshiped together, served together. They have sponsored refugees and taught English and served meals. They have rejoiced with them, and now they are weeping with them. Did they know, all these years, that they were being knit together into the body of Christ? And did they know that this would cause both great joy and grief to them someday?

We are being knit together by love and anticipation, by joy and by grieving. We are being knit together as we anticipate the reign of God and live now in this reality. We are being knit together, and sometimes this causes us unbelievable joy, and sometimes almost unbearable sorrow.

Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.

12 comments:

not said...

Oh Diane, what a beautiful and heart-wrenching post. I was honored to minister to a young couple in a similar circumstance during my CPE unit. I think of them still and pray that they have found peace knit together as you say, in their life and in their grief.

zorra said...

Words aren't adequate to express the honor and privilege of such a calling as yours and that of all of my pastor friends.

God_Guurrlll said...

My heart goes out to you and the family. I thank God that you were there for this family and were able to show them God's grace and love in their difficult time.

Peace and love,

Diane said...

I want to thank all of the people in our church who have grieved with them.

ROBERTA said...

thank you diane...thank you.

Elaine Dent said...

Thank you for your knitting, caring words that reframe the grief of the hospital room in the context of the grieving community. We are, indeed, knit together in Christ.

Robin said...

Diane, this is so beautiful; such a wonderful meditation on how we are knit together in community even in such trials. What an amazing gift you have given them to carry forward, as they will all surely feel wrenched apart from one another as the pain settles in.

Diane said...

yes, Robin, I've been thinking about what you say, too.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

This is a very beautiful post. I will pay for that family tonight.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

I attended a funeral of an elderly person this weekend and the knit metaphor applies to that as well. Yes, it is very helpful to have a faith community. Family, as we say at our church.

Jennifer said...

I pray that those knitted stitches are and will be strong...

Mompriest said...

amen.