Monday, July 15, 2013

Mending

Today, and yesterday, I have been doing a little mending.

I don't usually do any mending.  I have a pair of pants, missing a button, that has been languishing in a drawer for almost a year.  It would be in my best interests to be able to wear those pants.  But I haven't sat down with a needle and thread and fixed them.  I also have a pink shirt with a little tear in it.  It would not be so hard to fix, but I would need to find the right color thread, you know.  And thread the needle.  The older I get, the harder it is to thread the needle.

But a couple of days ago, my mother in law asked me to put a button on a shirt for her.  She is temporarily residing in a nursing home, and we've been helping her with a few things since she has been there.  We can't help her with her therapy or serve her meals, but we can do her laundry and help her get stamps for cards.  And I can sew on a button.

I have never been much of a sewer, but I can sew on a button, in a pinch.  And I can repair a hem, if I have to (but I haven't had to, lately.)  But, left to my own devices, I don't seem to get around to it.  It doesn't seem that important.  I can work around wearing that pair of pants.  I can put the pink shirt in the drawer and forget about it.  But my mother in law asked me, so I have gotten out the small mending kit and threaded the needle, however difficult.  I sewed on the blue button, and I am working on the pink shirt, and also the pair of pants.

Today, and yesterday, I have been doing a little mending.

And, it seemed to me, when I was straining my eyes and my hands to thread the needle, that there are more things that need mending in my life, more tears, small or large, in the fabric of life, or of community.  Some of the tasks are hard, and some are not really so hard, but the older I get, the harder it is to thread the needle.  So I'm tempted to put off doing things that really need doing.

Mending.

It is one of the calls of the church.  Perhaps we have forgotten that.  We come to worship on Sunday, and we can work around wearing particular garments and forget that they have to be mended.  But we are not the church if we don't do the mending that God has called us to.

Some of the mending is personal -- the rifts and tears in particular lives, the holes in hearts overflowing with grief and loss.  And some of the mending is community wide -- there are so many tears among us, so many holes, and so much fear.

I have been thinking about this the past few days as I have thought of the boy Trayvon Martin and the man George Zimmerman.  And what I have been thinking about is this:  they were afraid of each other.   And this is not just true in Florida, it is true in other neighborhoods as well.  We are afraid of each other.

How can we mend this?

All I can say is this:  it is not easy work, threading this needle.  And there is not a neat and near ending when there will be no fear in communities any more.  It is hard and constant work, and perhaps some of us find it easier to put it off, put it in a drawer, and go back to church and sing hymns.  But we are not the church if we don't do the mending that God has called us to do.

Today, and yesterday, I have been doing a little mending.

And tomorrow, by the grace of God and with the help of persistent friends, I will continue.  I will find a place where I can help with the mending in my community.  I will admit my own fears, and listen to those who disagree with me, and I will sew a few stitches together where the garment has unraveled.  I will thread the needle (even though the older I get, the more difficult it becomes).  Someone told me recently that you can thread the needle if you will hold it up against a contrasting color.

Today, and yesterday, and tomorrow, I am doing a little mending.

One garment at a time.




1 comment:

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Good point: They were afraid of each other. Lots being said about racial profiling and black people. But other non-white people also feel this. I'm in a mixed race family....
It seems all to easy for the pundits to forget that Zimmerman also had emotions besides being out to watch somebody. His actions stemmed from his emotions. I'm not excusing him or anybody. As someone wise said, what if he had generously offered to help Martin get out of the rain? A different emotional mindset at the beginning would have brought about a different outcome, perhaps. We need to mend our own hearts before we can mend others or society. Maybe Jesus is the great "mender."