This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:15-18 (NIV)
Another great Sunday afternoon under Vicki’s tutelage learning another way to felt. Today, we learned needle felting. No soaking, pulling, stretching or flinging of the felt today. Instead, we stabbed the wool with a barbed needle. Poke, poke, poke. For a group of highly stressed women, it was incredibly satisfying. We started with some plain brown wool, rolled it into a tight ball and then, set to poking. As you thrust the needle in and out, it captures the wool fibers and binds them together. It sounds like sewing, but it is not. Just the friction and twisting of the barbs keeps the fiber together. It was like magic, and since I don’t like to sew, it was a perfect new craft for me to learn. We were making little animals. Vicki started us out on tiny puffer fish. It was basically a ball to which we added fins and a tail, a wide circle mouth and big buggy eyes. Though the design was the same, every fish was different and we enjoyed seeing each others creativity. Then, we got to choose a bird. Some made cardinals, blue birds or robins. I started out to make a blue bird, but before I applied the blue wool, the brown shapes I had made as a base called out to me and said, “No, we are not part of a silly blue bird, we are an owl!” So, owl I made. I will post him and his friend the fish on Wednesday so check back for a view that will make you smile. I laugh out loud every time I look at them. While we enjoyed the craft, the conversation was also interesting. As women will, we talked about the things that are most on our mind. Job losses. An impending move. The task of boxing up a life time of memories and saying good bye to dear friends and satisfying work. A son who has been sick and how his mom can reassure him that though his sister died of leukemia, he probably just has a virus and no reason to be afraid. Even though her heart clinches when she thinks about the statistics. Another mom whose teenage son is driving her to distraction, and another whose is about to leave for college and wishes (well, almost) that she could go back to those days and keep him home just a little while longer. Parents who are aging. Husbands who are hard to understand. Work. Home. Dreams. As we talked, I thought about this morning’s Sunday School lesson in Isaiah. We talked about how we often put our hope for the future in people or things that may fail us. Like the horses, Isaiah describes, spouses, children, parents, friends, employers, doctors, even ourselves can disappoint. But, God is always faithful. He offers us rest if only we will turn to Him and quietly wait upon Him. He will bring us through whatever the future holds. What horses are you riding today?