Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Between Christmas and New Year's

The week between Christmas and New Year's is not only a time for looking forward but for looking back.  Since Christmas Day, I've had some time to sit down and knit and try to progress on a couple of projects.  I began reflecting on my early days of knitting, a time when someone special took the time to teach me.  It was my sister-in-law, Ann.  Ann was married to my older brother, and they had between them seven children.  Ann was busy . . . every day she was busy.  Somehow she found the time to spend with an 18-year old girl to teach her how to knit.

I remember watching Ann knit and carry on conversations, watch TV, do a
lot of mental multi-tasking, and she never dropped a stitch that I recall.  I was absolutely amazed at her ability to do this.  I wanted to be like Ann in so many ways, but most of all to be filled with the same kind of spirit that filled her -- God's spirit, the Holy Spirit, Jesus love. 

As I've been knitting lately, I've reflected on Ann's life and the end of her life quite a few years ago.  Ann was diagnosed at age 56 with Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS, and eventually the disease took her ability to do so much with her hands . . . not only knitting, but play the piano, the organ, cook, clean, her accounting work.  And the disease took the use of every part of her except her mind.  It was a horrid disease, and early on Ann would say she could tell which muscle was dying.

The one thing the disease couldn't and didn't take from Ann was that spirit of living in God's spirit, sharing Jesus' amazing love, and showing the Holy Spirit shining through her with an incredibly dazzling smile.  I knit now and know that I was left not only with a skill that I love to use to share God's love by knitting charity caps for school-aged children in our area, but with the memory of Ann, all of her, shared with me because she was filled with that special gift of spirit.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that
you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13 (NIV)

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