Thursday, March 22, 2012

At His Feet {A Bigger Picture Moment}

This is an illustration I heard years ago, that stuck with me...and has helped me this week:

Picture a little girl, sitting on the floor.
Maybe she's coloring, or dressing a doll baby.
Next to her, in a comfortable rocking chair is her grandmother -
Rocking back and forth just a little bit as she carefully works her needlepoint.
As the little girl looks up over her shoulder, she sees colors - lots of bright colors.
And there are the knotted fingers, moving the needle in and out of the canvas.
She sees the knotted threads, and the dangling threads.
And she sees the hint of the pattern her grandmother creates.
She's a little curious.
Glances up from time to time to see what grandma's doing, making sure she's still there.
She doesn't worry about the fact that the colors don't seem to be in the lines.
She isn't anxious that it doesn't all make sense.
She just plays and takes comfort in the presence of her grandmother....
a grandmother who sees the canvas from the other side.
The finished and perfected side.

This week I've been acutely aware that I'm like the little girl.
When I look up, and try to focus on the bigger picture, I just seem to see knots.
And a very unclear, unfinished picture.
Dangling threads abound.

The week began with the very sad news of the death of beautiful young woman.
An acquaintance of mine.
She was seven months pregnant and on the verge of realizing many personal dreams.
Her death left a huge hole in the heart of someone I cherish.
I am restless.
I'm a bit mad about some things.
I'm bored - and that, to me, is inexcusable!

So, I seek to have the heart of the little girl.
Trusting that what I can't understand or make sense of right now
is clear to the weaver, the creator of the tapestry that is my life.
With tragedy comes questions of fairness and an attack of the "whys?"
I feel called to take comfort in my crafters presence.
And the fact that the bigger picture isn't finished yet.


  1. Oh, Adrienne, I'm so sorry for that loss you and the people who love are experiencing. Indeed, those are the moments where I want to tear apart the whole colorful threaded piece trying to understand ... when I really need to be like that little girl, too. There is a bigger picture. And in that, we should find rest. Thank you for this beautiful moment.

  2. thanks for sharing that illustration. this week certainly hasn't made any sense to me. your post helped a tiny bit.

  3. ooohhh Adrienne I always hang on your every word!! I have felt this so many times, you describe it perfectly! So sorry about your friend, what a sad time for you.

  4. I can't imagine losing a life when expecting a life. It is heart-wrenching. I'm sorry for that loss. I hope that tending to yourself will help aide in a healing process.

    Thank you so much for sharing.


  5. Oh, I'm so so sorry to hear about your loss and her family's loss. That must be so truly devastating. Your last words though, that the bigger picture isn't finished yet...oh my goodness those struck a chord with me.

    We do see the knots. We focus a lot on the knots. But there are threads in between. Hopefully, one day we'll take a step back and see the picture they all create together...that all those knots make something beautiful. Like all those millions of points Monet painted. Each is just one little dot, but together they make a garden with dancing light.

  6. First of all, Adrienne, my sympathy to you in the loss of your friend. That's so sad.
    I wanted to tell you that I also heard this same "illustration" years ago on - of all things - a soap opera. I was just a child at the time.
    On the show, the husband of a young woman had been killed in a factory accident. When the priest arrived to tell her about it, she was working on needlework. Of course, she was distraught after hearing the news, and questioned why God would allow this to happen. The priest took her needlework and showed her the "back" side of it, and said: "this makes no sense to us. The threads are all knotted and we can't see any design to it". Then he turned it over to the front ad said: "this is how it looks to God".
    I've always remembered that.

  7. I'm so, so sorry for your loss -- impossible to bear. Your image of the back side of the tapestry is perfect, and I hope -- oh, I hope -- that it's been able to comfort you this week. Knowing there's beauty on the other side, even if you can't even imagine it yet.

    Praying for you and your loved ones.

  8. Tragically beautiful! So sorry for those loss of this young lady and I assume her infant. So sad. I have often thought of God as the tapestry maker. Such a great way that you have expressed this. We do often focus on the knots and frays. Faith is seeing that something beautiful will be made of it.