As I create, a lot of thoughts come to mind. What began as a small wall hanging has grown a little after seeing the space it will rest. Taking some of the same elements of the sample and making something just a little more personal for a client is one of the parts I love about commissions.
As I showed the sample for approval, I saw some emotions close to the surface. I was touched that she was so moved by words, fabric, stitches and buttons. It made me want to make the final project even more meaningful. She is like my adopted grandmother.
While I was tearing the new pieces of cloth and working to have rough edges which speaks to all of our lives, I thought of Jesus and how his death brought the tearing of the temple curtain (Mark 15:38). Not cut with scissors for a nice special finish but ripped from TOP to bottom by God. I too was torn about many years ago (1996) and the scars I can now see as a blessing.
This curtain tearing was significant. I heard someone talk about this premium fabric. It was probably “inches” thick in the weave because people were afraid to see God who was supposedly “housed” behind the curtain. The tearing showed that through Jesus, that curtain of separation does not need to keep us from Him again. This is not what I grew up with. I was a giant religion skeptic and no church could sweet talk me. Somewhere God himself did though and I have done more “living” in these past years with Christ than 33 years before.
Even though Jesus said “it is finished”, referring to his work for the Father, I know my work is not finished, I am not finished, I have not learned it all, experienced it all and never will in this world. Another reason I couldn’t make this creation seem complete so I left that thread and needle part of the design.
Prepping the fabrics brought a lot of internal thoughts: frayed edges, uneven cuts, unraveling and differing textures, colors and weaves. I intentionally put in a hole and cut and pulled fibers to look like a worn and beat up area because that is our lives. Each one of us has been chewed up and spit out somewhere along the way. Many times we take that as a scar or keep as an open wound, but it is meant to be one of our many beauty marks – a badge of honor.
I think of the different buttons as different parts of our lives. Some are shiny, some dark, some showing beauty even though on the other side…ugliness exists. Many times you don’t want to show that side to the world. The stitches that hold the buttons on are similar to what keeps us hanging on in life. Sometimes they are hidden like addictions, fears, unforgiving feelings for others or self, something that is lurking in the darkness. Some proudly wear them to show the world, “I’m hanging on to something”, even if it a single thread that could break at any moment.
The stitching is done with metallic thread to hold the layers together. There is a roughness to it but a glimmer of something more. I added some shimmering beads at the end as an adornment as God’s children. We are part of that royalty. Sometimes we reject our heritage. We have that choice – I made that choice to reject for most of my life. Grace is always there if we want to pursue it and receive it. I know my life never knew such freedom and hope until I reached toward that grace again.
I knew as I was stitching that it wasn’t just a request from a dear woman to make something to adorn the rug that I had woven and she displayed on the wall. I think it was an assignment from God for me to see the rough edges that I have, the flaws in the fabrics of my life, how my layers have been stitched to strengthen, and most importantly that I don’t have to hide things because with His grace – no matter how much I doubt, I too, am a wonderful work of art!
Copyright 2009 – Judi Kruis & JKruisCreations.com