My postings have been a little light of late as I finish the final preparations for our ladies' retreat. In my preparations, I found the following story that is a wonderful example of how the scars in our lives, combined with God's love and care, can produce a wonderful work in us.
As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along
with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives like the
squares of a quilt in many piles.
An Angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a
tapestry that is our life. But as my angel took each piece of cloth off
the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They
were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my
life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced
with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the
largest holes of all.
I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny
hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color
and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was
disheartened. My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together,
threadbare and empty, like binding air.
Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the
light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each in turn, holding up
their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.
My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to
the ground in shame. I hadn't had all the earthly fortunes. I had love
in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and
death, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it.
I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to
quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I
spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in
my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured
painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would
not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who
unfairly judged me. And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what
it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.
I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light.
An awe-filled gasp filled the air.
I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes. Then, I
looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes,
creating an image, the face of Christ.
Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He
said, "Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My
hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when
you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me
than there was of you.
My prayer is that all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ
to shine through.
-- Author Unknown