Uncategorized Mar 05, 2024

Years ago, I had a little knitting business with my mother and my sister.  Bumberschnerds were the scarves we knit….occasionally we added hats into the mix.  We’d knit little metal “B”s into each piece and sell them to a local snowboard shop and a small boutique.  We were quite the rage.  

At one point I was knitting so much that I gave myself tennis elbow.  Because I also play tennis, and I love tennis much more than knitting, I gave up knitting and packed away my needles and my yarn.  But recently one of my grandsons wanted to learn how to knit.  I pulled out my gear, refreshed my memory of how to cast on, and I endeavored to teach him.  It turned out that knitting was a little too complicated and a little too structured for his creative genius.  But he still wanted a scarf, as did his brothers.  So, guess who is knitting again!  The things we do for grandkids. 

Knitting has reminded me of the concept of Shalom.  Tim Keller describes Shalom as “interwovenous…harmonious peace.”   God’s design for the world was perfect and harmonious.  But human beings with our free will would rather go our own way than live into the beautiful pattern and structure of God’s design.  We feel it to be stifling, with its rules and morality.  Just like my young grandson we would rather exercise all our own creative impulses.  And well we should.  We are made in the image of a creator God.  But in doing so, we so often fall far short of God’s perfect design.  

That’s the way the world really works.  We are all broken by the dysfunctionalities of our upbringing or our broken systems.  Even Christ’s church succumbs to dissonance rather than harmony more often than we want to admit.  We need a savior so badly.  And yet, in our brokenness we wonder where is Jesus?  Is he here?  Is he impotent?  Sometimes we even push him away when he does show up!  “Do me a miracle, Jesus, but don’t try to refine me!”

Jesus died and rose again to heal the broken world he created.  But he is temporarily hampered by the very brokenness he healed.  Seems paradoxical, doesn’t it?  The difference between the days before the cross, resurrection and Pentecost and our present time is that he has given us His Holy Spirit, the power and strength to strive for that perfect design.  His redemptive work covers a multitude of failures.  We fall and fail and rise, over and over again.  Hopefully as we mature and gain wisdom, our falls and fails aren’t as deep and we rise a little bit higher.  But maybe not.  Maybe we just get stuck.  

One day, in the end (in the end, in the end, in the end) when Jesus returns to merge a new heaven and earth, all the broken places will be unbroken, all will be healed and all flesh will see it together. 

Here is the first of my finished knitting projects.  There’s a flaw in it where I had to add in a second skein of yarn.  Can you see it?  Hopefully not.  But I know it’s there.  Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away.  It’s the way knitting is.  It’s a symbol of shalom; but just like the shalom we experience now, it isn’t finished yet.  Come, Lord Jesus!

Love, Liz