Saturday, February 13, 2010
(this is one of those word-y posts so feel free to skim through for the pictures!)
over Christmas, i got the book Quilting For Peace for myself because i heard about it on blogland and because it was cheap :-) on pg 13, Pascha Griffiths and her project Beloved Quilts was highlighted and i never did get farther in the book! Pascha is a fellow Christian who felt called to make quilts for the homeless in her area. after reaching her goal of 100 quilts, with the help of friends and friends of friends, she has decided to make quilts for children who are victims of sex trafficking.
"'How unloved these girls must feel and how tainted their concept of love must be,' says Pascha, who wonders what 'bed' must mean to them after what has happened to them there. 'Then to think that there's this blanket that says they are beloved. They might be too wounded for it to mean anything, but it might mean something. It's one way of saying, 'You're seen, and here's some safety.'"
i couldn't stay dry-eyed through that paragraph.
this story actually started awhile ago for me.
my church has a strong calling to social justice--and much of that vision came from a former pastor, who left a couple of years ago to join International Justice Mission as a staffworker (that name always makes me think of the old superhero cartoon --International Justice League :-) though people working at IJM are truly the heroes of this world). when the pastor left, at his last service, his new boss from IJM came to speak to us and tell us about IJM. he showed a video about some of their work throughout the world. it's been a couple of years so the details are fuzzy but there were some incredible stories told. one of them involved the rescue of child prostitutes in India. now i knew that there was such a thing as child sex trafficking in the world but it was the first time i saw evidence in front of me--pictures and videos of these beautiful little girls who were being treated in such an inhumane and ungodly way. as a mom now, i can't help but relate everything to my kids, and i couldn't even fathom the pain of having my daughter go through such torture. i turned and found my husband sniffing and discreetly wiping away his tears (and trust me, he never cries!)
well, we wrote a check to IJM and that was pretty much that. sex trafficking is a huge issue and i couldn't conceive of a way to even think about it.
fast-forward a couple of years to last August when our church had our first church retreat. we were beginning a series of "Visioneering"--how to create a vision for our own lives that is in keeping with God's vision for us and for our church and for our world. one of the exercises was to write our own obituary (not as morbid as it sounds :-) in examining my life, i thought my relationships were in order--yeah, i yell at my kids a lot, but they love me and would miss me when i'm gone (well, that's what i tell myself :-) and i have a wonderful husband, and loving friends. all that was fine. but in terms of what have i done with my life outside of family and relationships, that was a lot less impressive. i haven't worked professionally (use to be a librarian) since the kids were born (over 7 years now) and even then, i wasn't really a stellar librarian--or at least, that wasn't my passion in life. quilting is, but that's not a career. (one side-note that i haven't even realized until just now--i'm starting to make quilts for my friends--in the past, i've made lots of baby quilts for their offspring--maybe i'm trying to perpetuate my legacy through them now).
nothing was really resolved at the retreat--i just pondered what i wanted to do with my life--especially as the kids grow older and i have time for myself. one out-there thought that entered my head, was that the child sex trafficking issue is so horrific that i want to do something about it. but i immediately scoffed at that idea 'cos i'm not the activist type and what can i do about it?
so when i read about the Beloved Quilt project, it was a Hallelujah moment. my compassion for children who are caught in this horrific situation, my love for quilting, and my hope to follow God's will for my life were all intertwined into this one project.
i emailed Pascha and she seems like such a kind person! she was excited for me but because i didn't have anything really definite to tell her, we sorta left things up in the air. one thing she said made me smile, that she was struck that i was so moved by just reading about her project in a book. and i couldn't really explain in an email, just how many years it took for God to work on this hard heart!
as you can tell from my (very infrequent) posts--it takes me forever to get things done. so it took another month or so to actually make the quilt and sadly enuf, another few weeks, just to photograph it and now to write this blog post.
i used some of my much hoarded Grand Revival fabrics--i actually can't really remember which lines i used, i think Barefoot Roses and Darla.
and on a frivolous note, i even had enough scraps left over to make a scarf for myself (here modeled by my oldest :-)
i will be emailing Pascha soon to ask if she wants the quilt now (she sends them overseas periodically) or if i can wait until i make a 2nd one to send along as well--who knows how long that will be!
one of the reasons why i've been in such a hurry to finish up some of the WIPs that were languishing was because i don't like things hanging over my head and i wanted to start a 2nd Beloved Quilt with a clean-ish slate. i would also like to involve some of my friends in the making of the quilts but i'm not really sure how 'cos they're not quilt-y people--still pondering that.
i'm so grateful to Pascha (who appears to be much more of an activist type than me!) who was obedient to God's calling for her, and which then enabled me to participate in this way. i don't really know where this path is leading--whether it'll get bigger or if it'll stop after 2 quilts (i personally committed to at least two, if not more) --but i'm learning that God's journey for me is not of my making and not under my control. all i can do is obey what is in front of me.