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I received the most incredible gift last week – my first hand made quilt. My friend Colleen is a quilter of note and last year I (sort of) jokingly said to her – ‘will you make me a quilt when I get married?’

Her quilts really are a work of art and she could, if she chose to, sell them for vast amounts of money. I can’t afford vast amounts of money so it seemed a bit presumptuous to ask. But then she said she would make me one for seminary…  She asked what colours I wanted and I said BRIGHT colours. Red. Yellow. Green. Blue.

I collected it last week and when I opened it, my blood ran cold. It is exquisite.

It took me a few days to contact her and tell her that I had received it because I was so overwhelmed. I couldn’t find the words to adequately express just how much I love it and how touched I was that she had poured so much time and energy into something that is just for me.

On Sunday I took the quilt to church with me as the basis of my sermon… Psalm 23 – ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want …’

It sums up for me the gift of faith.

The gift of God, the gifts from God…

Yellow for the sun, for light.

Green for the earth, for peace, for balance.

Blue for water, the Spirit, for cleansing and restoring.

Red for the blood, the blood of humanity and the blood of Jesus connecting all of humanity – connecting God to humanity.

The underside of the quilt is a beautiful sky blue like Spirit, the undergirding of all life upheld by the Spirit -our lives held in the Spirit of God.  

This is a gift made up of Colleen’s thoughts and her love. Just like life is the gift of God to us. God’s presence and God’s self, interwoven in our lives. There is nothing we can ever do to repay that gift. There are no words which can capture what it means to live simply with the gift of God, with the earth and humanity and love and peace and acceptance.

This has been an incredibly tough week for us at seminary. So many questions, so much death, so much sadness and confusion. But through it all there is God – the source of love and the great comforter. As I have sat quietly in my room, reflecting on the events of the week and the sadness hanging over our home and community, I have sat with that quilt, and I have been ‘comforted’ by the gift that is God and God’s love.

The quilt is a symbol of light and hope and life in what can sometimes be a tough and cruel world and I am so grateful for the reminder that life is a gift, a gift not to be taken for granted. Whatever we face and whatever questions we may have, there is One who says, ‘My grace is sufficient for you. My love runs throughout and I will restore life to those who ask for it and who need it.’

Thank you Colleen for your gift of love to me.

Thank you God for reminding me that you are God, that life is sacred and that for all who ask, there is comfort, there is hope, there is life – eternal.