You don’t know me. We haven’t met. Yet. Maybe one day that can happen.
I just wanted to write and say thank you.
The first time I encountered you was in a library several years ago during a not-so-good time of my life. I had recently lost a family member, and my home life was not great. Books have long been my refuge, so where else would I go to escape than my local library? I am a life-long crafter, and I come from a long line of crafty ladies. My mom tried to teach me to crochet when I was little, but it never took. So I drifted along, sewing this, beading that, painting, etc. But I had not learned to knit. Yet.
Anyway, I took my troubled self to the library to forget my familial woes. While browsing through the crafting section I saw a book called “Knitting Rules.” It seemed like a good start. And so I picked up the book that would change my life. Even though I was not yet a knitter you spoke to me in that book. I laughed when you laughed, your frustrations were mine, and that afternoon you helped me forget my troubles.
For that, I thank you.
I would like to say that I became a dedicated knitter there and then, but I didn’t. It took several years for me to finally pick up some knitting needles and give it a whirl. But I can say that I am now well and truly hooked. And I blame it all on you.
Thank you for writing about life as it truly is. Thank you for being more than just a knitter or a writer. Thank you for all your efforts to make the world a better place, whether it’s raising a beautiful family, knitting for charity, or your yearly bike marathon. You inspire me, not just to knit (although you definitely inspire me to do that), but to be a better person and make this world a better place.
I hope someday I can be just like you.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
So begins the Verdi Requiem. Over 200 musicians have banded together at my university to perform this beautiful work.
A requiem is about death. Many people have written them, many more have enjoyed them, wept through them, and come out more whole. Death is a universal phenomenon. We cannot escape it. And so there will always be mourning on this earth. Several years ago my father and brother were killed in a 4-wheeling accident. As you may imagine, it has not been an easy time for my family as we have struggled to continue with our lives. But with God’s help we are moving on. I have come to realize that the pain never really goes away. You learn to live with it just like you learn to live with back pain or chronic headaches. But there is something healing about acknowledging that the pain is there and praying for it to be relieved. That is what the Verdi Requiem is to me. I am so grateful for a chance to sing this for my loved ones.
And the best part is that I know they are in heaven and that when my turn comes to die I will see them again.
What do you do when a friend turns on you? When you did everything you thought you were supposed to do, but the very thing that you thought you were doing right ends up being the thing that makes them turn away from you?
I wish I could say I have the perfect life and that this has never happened to me. But that would be lying. You see, telling the truth was the thing that I thought I was doing right. But I guess I gave the wrong answer. And, you know, the answer I gave wasn’t necessarily the “right” answer. But I thought, better to give a wrong answer than to lie. I don’t know. Maybe I should have just not answered the question.
But my drama isn’t the point. I found comfort. I am finding comfort. As a Christian we hear a lot about going to God and the Bible in times of trial. Sometimes it just seems old and overblown. I mean, really, how in the world can an invisible God help me with my problems? You can’t even prove He’s real. But I know that He is real. He has given us a precious gift: the Bible is His Word. He has given it to us to show us the way to salvation, but He doesn’t leave it there. Through the Bible God comforts me when I’m going through hard times. Today I found myself going to Psalm 136. It has a lot of repetition, but sometimes repetition is what we need. Sometimes we need to hear things a dozen times or more before we get them.
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endures for ever.
O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endures for ever.
O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endures for ever.
God is Lord, He is God. I serve a good God whose mercy (elsewhere translated as “steadfast love”) endures forever. His love never ends. He will always love me. And from that I can take comfort. Friendships may wax and wane and grow old or not, but my God will always love me.