Thursday, April 7, 2016

Thoughtful About . . . Lacework Lives

Yesterday, I was talking to my husband about loss. His grandfather recently passed away; and this was a man we saw nearly every day. We're currently living in the house he'd had built on the family property, just a short walk from the apartment we'd helped build for him at my mother-in-law's house. Her last couple years have been dedicated almost exclusively to caring for him. To say he's missed is an understatement.

My husband said something that really resonated with me. He said, "I've heard this analogy for sin--that every sin is a nail through us. And that when we're forgiven, the nail is removed--but the hole is still there. I keep thinking that's how grief is. When we lose someone, we're left with a hole. That doesn't just . . . go away in a few days or weeks or months."

Brains being quick as they are, my first thought was the one you'd expect a girl raised in the church to come up with--that God fills those holes. That's His job.

Then another thought quickly followed. Do we ever stop missing those we love? The pain fades, yes. God gives us new purpose, yes. God fills us, yes. But no. We never stop missing those we love. And we're not supposed to. So in that respect, we always carry those holes with us. Like Swiss cheese, maybe?

Then an image filled my mind. You see, I've been knitting for about 7 months now, and some of my favorite pieces are lacework. Lace . . . such beautiful stuff, right? But when you're making lace, it isn't just about the yarn. It isn't about the knits and the purls.

It's about the holes.

One of the things I love about knitting is realizing how long people have been doing it. How this is something that has been passed down for literally thousands of years. Some things I wonder how anyone ever figured them out. But lace . . . I get lace. Lace is made by purposefully adding in holes that are pretty easily added by accident. Lace is taking a process that could have been a mistake and turning it into a work of art.

Maybe that's what our lives are meant to be. We're not supposed to just fill in those holes. We're supposed to turn them into something beautiful.

Because there will always, always be loss. People die--it's inevitable. And we're supposed to feel it. We're supposed to miss them. We can't just push past it. We can't just rush to fill in the hole their passing leaves with stuff, with activity, with new things. But each event like this in our lives is supposed to change us. Maybe . . . just maybe it's up to us whether we're left with a hole-ridden garment of our lives...

Or lace.


  1. This is a very thoughtful post. I'm sorry for your family's loss. My family lost our grandmother many years ago, the hole is still there. Speaking of holes she made crochet doilies. When my daughter was four she asked Nanny if she would make some her "because when I'm old enough to want some, you won't be here". The next time we came for a visit my grandmother had 15 doilies of various sized in a bag ready for my daughter. They were precious gifts.

  2. Thank you for this beautiful,touching post! I'm sorry,too to hear of your loss,I'll be praying for you.