My mother taught me the difference between a blanket and a quilt.
When you sleep under a blanket, you are kept warm.
When you sleep under a quilt, you know that you are loved.
Why? Because every stitch has been sewn with you in mind. Each square has a memory to offer of a happy time, a favorite dress, a beloved shirt, or an outgrown but not forgotten item that, when viewed on this kaleidoscope of joy, brings a deep-seated sense of well-being.
One chilly morning, peeking out from under my favorite quilt, I began to wonder… am I a human quilt? Does all that I do express the warmth and love of Jesus? Do I envelop others with care and concern? Or...
Do I just “get the job done” like any old blanket?
I asked myself, “How can I be a quilt in this life to others and not just a blanket?”
Am I present or “somewhere else” when people are speaking to me?
Do I do it ALL as unto the Lord--working, washing clothes, making beds, typing very tedious email lists, cooking dinner, driving carpool, even Mass… ALL?
Smile check! As Ellie Lofaro says, ”If the joy of the Lord is your strength… can you please inform your face?!”
How’s my heart? Stoney? Soft? Am I doing it all because I “have to” or I “get to?”
Surprises! How do I handle the things that interrupt my day? Do I see them as opportunities from the Lord and roll with them...or…?
Do I seek out opportunities to reach those on the “fringe” and really connect to them? Love them... welcome them...?
Am I kind to people when they are sharp to me or do I react in the same harsh manner? To be a quilt requires “ministering in the opposite spirit” out of grace and love.
How’s my interior dialogue? Positive? Negative? Judgemental? Even to myself?
How would my family rate my “warmth factor?” Do I save my best for others?
If Jesus were here with me now, would the squares on my quilt bring Him great joy? If not, can I sweetly ask for a patch and have Him, the Master Tailor of my life, mend me, stitch me up, and make me beautiful once again?
Perhaps you have your own musings about the ways the Lord would like for you to be a human quilt… not just a blanket. Ask Him to help you spread His Love and His Warmth at all times.
“God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him.” 1 John 4:16
As this season of Advent begins, help me to be mindful that You came as a babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Keep me swaddled in You and You in me! Let me be so wrapped up in your love that I can extend the warm corners of Your grace to all I know. May everyone I meet, and all that I do, be a joyful expression of this beautiful intimate relationship I have with You, my Savior and my God. May I never be lacking in virtue, and when my fabric seem to be wearing a bit thin, fill me up again with the love and warmth that only You can provide. And may all of this be to Your glory so that I can cozy up to those in need and extend Your quilt of love to all.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen