Thursday, October 23, 2008

Close your eyes, and imagine...

The cold metallic taste of pinheads is between my lips. The taste is as familiar as homemade bread. My tongue presses hard against the pins and the roof of my mouth as I concentrate.

A 60" white-and-black tape measure is draped around my neck, like a smooth and harmless snake. It feels as natural draped on me as a favorite sweater would be. The ends dangle in the air every time I lean forward across the table.

Orange scissors fit into my hand as if they were intentionally made the exact shape of my palm. They snip - sometimes sharply, severing thin thread. Sometimes they make the even zzzzt zzzt sound of scissors cutting stiff fabric.

My machine talks to me; "Um-in, Um-in, Um-in," the needle goes up and down, up and down. Just as I'm beginning to wonder if it will never take a breath, I reach the end of my seam and lift my foot off the pedal. Before I begin the next seam, I slip my foot out of my shoe, and enjoy the feeling of contact between my warm bare foot and the hard plastic foot of my machine.

My fingers automatically slide around to the metal lever that snaps the presser foot into place atop the fabric. Another seam is begun.

It is all so natural. Like eating. Or sleeping.

Until something goes wrong, of course. But even that seems natural, because it happens so often.

* * * * *

Can you tell I've been sewing today?

Can you also tell that I messed up?

And it's an order - an item for someone else. Oops. Don't tell; I'll be able to fix it. Really. It'll only take a couple of...gulp...hours.

But I do like thinking about how natural sewing feels. I'm glad I've grown up doing it. Most of the time, it's a little stressful - if I'm looking for therapeutic, I'll go find my crochet hook, not my sewing machine - but at the same time...

...I like sewing.

I like what goes on in my mind as I sew. It's a wonderful time to pray. And talk to myself.

Sometimes, ya know, yourself is hard to know. But if I don't know myself, who can I know? I need to know what I really think about certain issues. I need to know what I'd do in certain situations. I need to know what sins are bubbling in my heart, ready to come to the surface when I'm tempted and don't flee to Christ.

It's easy to assume I'm the person I want me to be. I know - in a general way - what I want to be like. And I know all my thoughts; when I snap at that little sibling, I know that I did it because I have a headache. Inside, I'm really a patient person.

But she doesn't know. Neither does anyone else.

When I mean to do something, and don't do it, I can tell myself that it's the thought that counted...and then count myself as kind and nice and sweet, because I meant to do that thing.

Every so often, it's good to stop and face the fact that me isn't what I want me to be, me is what I am. The person I desire to be is just that; the person I desire to be. It isn't me.

This thought is intricately tied up with the thought "God." He is the only other person who knows what I think I am, inside. He also sees how I live, and speak, look, I really am. When I cry because I don't live up to what I think I should be, His Word is there, reminding me that "only by pride cometh contention." Only my pride set me up to fall.

When I sing because the "real" me came out and lived for a few moments, He is the One who can share my joy, because only He knows how wonderful it feels.

When I weep with confusion, not knowing who I really am, He is there. He is the only one who knows the secret of who I really am. Oh yes, I know a little about who I am: I am a sinner. A saved sinner...but a sinner. That condemning , hopeless name, "sinner," has been seared into me since birth.

I also know I've been adopted. I'm a child of the very One whose law once doomed me. That makes me marvel. It makes my heart ache. It makes me topple over with astonishment. It makes me want to kiss His blessed feet. O, if only I could have been Mary! To wet His feet with my tears, and wipe them with my hair! To actually touch Him! It is the first thing I want to do when I get home; I want to kiss His feet.
But I really don't know much else about me. What I want to be and what I actually am are so tangled up somehow...

I'm so glad I don't have to know. I don't really have to know me. "If I don't know myself who can I know?" Why, the answer is so simple:


Why bother knowing me, anyway? What's so special about that?

"But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and KNOWETH me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD." (Jeremiah 9:24)

I love how God's Word makes complex things so simple.


Alethea Jordan said...

That's such a cool verse. And an awesome thought.

( : Anna : ) said...

ohhh, sorry you messed up on your sewing project Amber, I know that feeling...even though I don't sew. :)
Those were some wonderful thoughts...I am continually amazed at what an AMAZING Savior HE is!! What an awesome God we serve! That HE would even take notice of me--simple, little me--oh, it just blows me away!

You asked where we live~~on a farm in the wonderful state of Oklahoma. We love it here! I know I made it sound like it was SO cold "where I live" and you might have been thinking Alaska or something..... :), no, just Oklahoma. But to ME, it HAS been cold! When the temps in the 50's that is cold to me. :) You can tell I'm a big spring and summer fan! :) Though it is sometime a bit chilly in the spring. :)
Have a *Lovely* Saturday! :D


Leah said...

I like to sew also Amber, though I do not have as much experience as you. Some friends got me started, then moved away, since then I have been teaching myself little by little and I love it.

Thank you so much for writing what you did about thoughts. You expressed very well how I have recently been feeling/thinking when you said:
"What I want to be and what I actually am are so tangled up somehow..."

When I was writing this comment it was beginning to get so long that I decided to make it into a post on my blog, which I did.

Reading what you wrote and writing out what I did, helped me to work through some of the questions that were tumbling around in my head. So that, I could bring them before the Father and He has given me peace.
Thank you for letting Him use you!
Love in Christ,

Amber said...

Oh wow, Leah. I just came from dropping by your blog, and reading your post. I was surprised at how well I empathized with you. I was surprised at how well I understood what you were saying. Something echoed in my heart. Not that my problems are exactly the same as yours...but there is a common ground somewhere. An underlying feeling.

Then I came here and saw your comment. And now I know why you wrote that post.

I'm so glad the Lord used something I wrote. Thank you for telling me.

Amber said...

We are north of you, and the temp. has been down to the upper thirties a few times (in the mornings) I suppose I should consider us cold. :) But we keeping having warm days here and there - enough to convince me that fall isn't here QUITE yet. :)

Today though, I'm not so sure. It's actually cold. We even had sleet for a few minutes, around noon time!

But despite all that, it IS possible to have a fall garden in cool weather. You ought to try it sometime - you may like cool-weather gardening!