by Sue Reeve
“Ding!” The cell phone reminded me a personal Facebook message awaited. I recognized the picture of Mary, a lady I knew only casually. She reads my blog on Facebook, and I always appreciate her “Likes.” Mary messaged me to say she enjoyed the blog and wondered if I ever spoke.
Here’s the truth about writing and speaking. I am much more comfortable sitting behind my computer typing thoughts from my heart than I am standing before a group sharing those same thoughts. I feel ‘safe’ in my cozy home office. I don’t worry about whether my hair is fixed, whether I’ve applied makeup or even if I’m still wearing comfy pajama pants. Since I don’t know who’ll be reading what I write, I don’t wonder often if my words will be accepted. I know my primary purpose in writing is to point my readers to a never-changing God in our always-changing world, and I know God—who without a doubt loves me unconditionally—is pleased more by my obedience than with my ability.
Frankly, I don’t feel quite so confident when standing in front of an audience.
In spite of this, I told Mary I’d love to speak to a group of 40-50 women of all ages during their church’s women’s spring event. The theme, “Woven by Grace,” excited me. If you’ve been reading Listening on the Journey for any length of time, you know I absolutely love the topic of grace. I am the recipient of so much grace from God, and whenever I have the opportunity to encourage anyone to take a journey into God’s grace, I do so eagerly, feeling both humbled and privileged. Here’s the gist of what I had to say to this group of precious women on May 10th.
The writer in me desires to craft words accurately, and I often consult the dictionary for word meanings. Here’s what I found when I looked up the words: Woven, By and Grace.
Woven – to be formed by combining various elements or details into a connected whole.
By – as a means of conveyance.
Grace – a demonstration of favor, especially by a superior.
These individual words cause me to conclude that every single event, every element and every detail of our lives move us toward demonstrating God’s loving and masterful design.
One of my most prized possessions is a tallit—or prayer shawl—handwoven especially for me by my friend, Anni. Each individual silk strand was taken in Anni’s skillful hand and placed on a wooden loom. Every aspect of the tallit is intentional. Each different color, each hand-tied knot has special meaning.
I’ve draped the tallit over this small table to remind you and me we are being woven with favor into the woman God designed us to be.
I bought this wooden sign displayed on the tallit at our local Farmer’s Market last summer. Its message resonated truth the moment I saw it:
The will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot keep you.
The grace God weaves into our lives is done with utmost intention. Each event, element and detail is woven with precision and purpose. Our poor choices may cause a design flaw or delay, but even those, when taken in the skillful hand of the Divine Weaver, become part of God’s masterpieces—you and me. The very thought of this astonishes me.
My friend, Terry, whose communication skills I admire a lot, told me to have only three points in every talk, so tonight, I’d like to talk about three ways God’s grace is woven into our lives:
1) God’s grace is woven into our insecurities;
2) God’s grace is woven into our insufficiencies; and finally,
3) God’s grace is woven into our incredible potential.
In the next Listening on the Journey blog post, I’ll talk about how God’s grace is woven into our insecurities. Until then…
May you recognize the deep significance God is weaving into your life…
The grace God weaves into our lives is done with utmost detail and intention. Each event, element and detail is woven with precision and purpose.