Sewing the Seeds of Love

I never learned to sew; the skill never interested me. The only curtains hanging in this house were either bought at Bed, Bath, and Beyond or handmade by my husband, who, I’ll have you know, can sew a mean straight stitch. So when Rainey wanted to learn a few years ago, I had to find a suitable teacher for her. In other words, not me.

I’d heard about a woman downtown who owns a sewing shop and teaches young girls eager to learn, so I signed her up for some classes. In her weekly lessons she’s sewn all sorts of things, from pillowcases to pajamas, purses to pot warmers. But recently another project has consumed her time and attention.

She first got the idea over a year ago after listening to a presentation given by a short term mission team from our church that had traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Rainey sat riveted in the pew, and when someone mentioned uniforms were needed for Haitian school children, she looked up at me, eyes twinkling with tears, and whispered that she wanted to help.

“I could sew the uniforms,” she suggested after church that day.

But later that spring, when my husband traveled to the country with another team, he relayed a message to Rainey that children’s choir robes were needed more.

So she sprang to work in June, ordering fabric, picking out patterns, and recruiting friends to pitch in on the project. She paid for all the materials herself, and for weeks she brought home mounds of royal blue cotton, with nightly assignments like pinning sleeves and cutting out collars. And every week in class, she and her classmates dedicated two hours, sometimes more, to sewing the robes together. She never complained, and in the end they made 40 choir robes.

sewing3

sewing5

sewing4

sewing6

sewing1

Just after Christmas, a third team from our church flew to Haiti to deliver the robes and continue the work our church has started there. But before they left, during a dedication ceremony on Sunday morning, Rainey was commended for her work.

As she stood by the pulpit, surrounded by the grown-ups going on the next trip, I sat in the pew crying, moved by my daughter’s selfless gesture to participate in something bigger than herself. And even though I still don’t know the difference between a seam ripper and a whipstitch, she’s taught me so much by taking on this project.

She’s taught me that heroes come in all sizes and walks of life, that some wear capes while others sew choir robes. That you don’t need to leave home to make a difference, that there’s equal value in venturing out to the mission field and staying behind to help.

As a mother and sometimes in our little evangelical circles, it’s easy to buy the lie that we have to do big, important things to make our lives matter. That the good and holiest stuff only happens under a spotlight, from a platform, on a career path or foreign mission field. But that’s not where I live. It’s not how I work. I spend most of my days in obscurity, hidden behind my husband-made curtains doing unseen things in secret. And, if I’m being honest, sometimes that stinks. Sometimes I crave notoriety. I mean, who doesn’t want to be noticed?

But what my daughter has shown me over the past six months is a picture of what Mother Theresa said, that there are no great things, only small things done with great love. And I believe when you add them all up, when you stitch all the changed diapers and folded socks and fixed meals and scrubbed toilets together, you can create something beautiful. Something that just might change the world.

In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good. (Ecclesiastes 11:6)

Comments

  1. Erin Peace says:

    Megan, I just LOVE this…it brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing this sweet testimony…it is an encouragement to my spirit.

    Erin Peace

  2. pkanderson says:

    Rainey…I love who you are!!

  3. Totally moved by this entry Megan. Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply to Brent Cancel reply

*