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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Seeing Things Differently

I spent the weekend working on my Farmer's Wife blocks and watching 9/11 remembered on all the major news networks.  I admit to being somewhat flip about this ten-year anniversary.  The sites in New York City, Pennsylvania and the Pentagon seem very, very far removed from my little corner of the world in southeastern Kentucky.  Even Jeff's two tours in Afghanistan seem somehow unrelated, although both were part of the operations that grew out of those terrorist acts on American soil. 

I recently met someone who worked in the South Tower in 2001.  I don't know him well enough to have heard much of his story, but knowing someone who survived the devastation makes 9/11 more personal, more real.  It is one thing to remember where you were while watching the footage on television; it's quite another to think about someone you know at Ground Zero.

What if...?

As I listened again to the stories of last words, of heroic acts, of courage and compassion, I was struck again by how we impact other people.

When we laid Sam to rest, we're told that over 1,500 people came to pay their last respects, many with stories of how this young homeschooled boy had impacted their lives.

And ten years after 9/11, the stories of the fallen and those who survived still have meaning, still have power.

In Scripture, stones of remembrance were laid for major events in Israel's history.  As they crossed the Jordan river, Joshua instructed them, "In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them... These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever." He explains the reason behind remembering: "...so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God."  (Joshua 4:6-7, 24 NIV)

I sew my Farmer's Wife blocks together and realize that quilters are all about remembering.  Whether it's the memorial quilts that I've sewn for other people, or the ones I plan for Sam, or remaking the patterns made by quilters long ago...As quilters, we remember and pay homage to those who have gone before us.

We celebrate those who are yet to be.
 
And we use every opportunity to give comfort, warmth, peace and joy to those who are touched by our craft. I think of so many quilts -- 9/11 quilts, the AIDS quilts, quilts for abused children, tsunami and hurricane and fire victims...so many tragedies in which quilts helped in the healing process.

We do not always know the reasons things happen, but God's hand is powerful.  And every act of remembrance, every time a story inspires or informs our lives, makes us aspire to greatness...then His hand is revealed.

I do not ever want to forget!
May God richly bless all who remain and remember!

Blessings,

14 comments:

Janet O. said...

Once again, Mary Lou, you inspire and uplift!
God bless you!

Frog Quilter said...

Amen on your post.

I love to be that flicker, spark or ray of hope that someone gets when receiving a quilt. Sometimes it is this gift that will take them further in their recovery....

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

"His hand is revealed"... in all things, thanks be to God. Hugs to you~

Sarah Craig said...

On a day when many will be remembering, you have laid a "stone of remembrance" that will touch many hearts!

Quilt Hollow said...

Again...through your words you've touched my heart.

Grammasheri said...

Your words are a blessing and a comfort!

Shelley said...

Perfectly written...amen! a

marilyn said...

This post is so powerful! You have such a way with words that I admire so much. You say what I want to say, but can't seem to find the right words. thank you for this. God bless your hands today as you sew.

Anita said...

So beautifully said...thank you for sharing from your heart today!

Cheri said...

Beautifully written Mary Lou, I love how you related the Joshua scripture and quilting.
Happy stitching friend.

Anonymous said...

Amen ....
TinaH

StitchinByTheLake said...

I'm remembering...blessings, marlene

lisawith4 said...

what a wonderful post!
I recently did a study of Scripture that pertain to memorial stones or monuments. It's actually very interesting that they would stack up stones to memorialize an event or place for rememberance, for God's glory.
We do the same thing but not always for God's glory. Most of the time it is to recognize ourselves or our deeds. God is the God on High. He deserves ALL the glory.
I love how you linked in the idea of quilting. Quilts are definitely a source of remembering.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.

julieQ said...

I will never forget either...we made a quilt and raffled it off to send money to the survivors of the fire stations.