She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth
Rilke, Love Songs to God

Somewhere (was it in Africa or South America?), I watched an indigenous woman at the loom. She sat behind the weaving where the ill-matched threads made a confusion of colors. She worked the shuttle following some inner vision that I couldn’t see. To me there were only the ill-matched threads in disarray.

I left the weaver’s side and walked to view the other side as she continued to work. What I saw made me gasp in awe. There, emerging from the loom, was a beautiful piece of cloth with the ill-matched threads stunningly reconciled.

I continued to watch, and I wondered. As I go about weaving my life with whatever ill-matched threads present themselves, do I look at the tangle with dismay? Does the disarray unnerve me? Do I, at least from time to time, find myself invited to move to the other side to see what amazing pattern may be emerging? I wonder if God gazes at that side rather than at the twisted threads in the back. That would certainly make it possible for me to go on weaving gratefully.

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