Patches

Patchwork Quilt

Maggie, a very talented seamstress, woke early and was struggling to go back to sleep. Trying to get comfortable, thoughts about life and lack of business ran rampant through her mind. “Lord,” Maggie prayed. “How will I ever pay my bills? All I know is sewing, I wouldn’t know what else to do.”

Resigned to being awake, Maggie sat up and stared at the blinds, the grey lines growing lighter as the sun began it’s slow pounce on the day. Then another light appeared, growing slowly until it became evident that there was someone in the room. There stood a man, or what looked like a man, radiating warmth and light. His smile was joyful, causing Maggie to smile back.

“Your prayers are being answered”, he announced. “You have a new assignment, or a sewing job if you care to think of it that way.” Sitting down on the end of the bed, he held out a small stack of patches. “The Lord has chosen you to sew these patches into a quilt. More are coming. Be confident as He has confidence in you.” With that he stood up, smiled,and was gone.

Her alarm clock showing 6:37 a.m., Maggie crawled out of the sheets, sat in the middle of her bed and looked at the patches. Each one was different and was neatly stacked, one upon the other. They were all sizes, and made of all kinds of fabrics, and as she sat back and placed the pile on her lap, a wonderful fragrance arose from them.

As Maggie lifted the first patch to look closely at the pattern, she found herself standing outside at a place she had visited long ago as a college student. She was at the Mountain of Patrick in Ireland. She could smell the earth and the grass, and the land itself seemed to be moving under her feet. It was intoxicating!  But when she put down the patch, she was suddenly back on her bed.

Intrigued, Maggie picked up the next patch and was standing on a beach, with the gentle fragrance of flowers highlighting a small thatched church. Next, she was standing in a Hopi Pueblo looking out over a ceremonial Kiva, a heat mirage distorting the canyon below. Then she was standing on the steps of a mist-enshrouded pagoda, looking over a mountain-side terrace layered with rice fields.

Back on her bed, pushing aside her many questions about the patches, Maggie quickly dressed, and sat down at her sewing machine; the desire to create had taken over. As she sewed, each patch evoked images in Maggie’s mind of a myriad of sacred places. She knew instinctively in her heart how each patch related to the others. A passion rose up within her as she began to see God’s heart for each of these specific locations. Each patch representing a tribe or tongue, and their redemptive colors, patterns, and purposes.

Maggie worked carefully using different colors and thicknesses of thread to connect the patches.  Every so often the doorbell would announce a messenger bringing another fragrant package of patches.  Each messenger carried a joyful presence, and an encouraging word. Late on the second day, there came a large package of batting. The material felt like a blend of very high quality silk and cotton, but softer and lighter, feeling like a caress against her skin.

After three intense days, Maggie finished the quilting.  Her home was flooded with ancient aromas, the essence of thousands of lands and forgotten cultures. The quilt was beautiful, thick, and very large. She drew it around herself and was instantly filled with peace.

As Maggie rested in the quilt, the first messenger once again quietly appeared, kneeling before her. He reached out and touched the quilt saying, “This is the mantle of the Spirit of Unity. It is a picture of the Bride, a birthing blanket for creative miracles. Your destiny is to share this quilt and bring the impartation of unity to the Bride.” Then he was gone, leaving Maggie to wonder about God’s purpose in picking her to sew the Quilt.

Suddenly, Maggie’s thoughts were interrupted by the doorbell, and there stood an old customer with an armload of work.

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