Sandy Hughes from Gyffin has been getting crafty in her response to the pandemic…
Sandy Hughes writes:
All those weeks ago, when our lives changed in so many ways, I decided to start crocheting a ‘lockdown’ blanket – little knowing how many weeks there would be to finish it! But while I was waiting for my blanket wool to come in the post, I found this little heart pattern to make from left-overs I already had.
I was really struck by what Louisa Sheward put at the beginning of her instructions: “This heart is not uniform, it is not symmetrical, it is not perfect. But it is beautiful, just like you and me and all of us. Take some time to love yourself. Take a long bath, relax, read books, crochet. Look in the mirror and find something you love about yourself”.
The Bible tells us that we are all beautiful and precious to God, His beloved, but how many of us can love ourselves? We are usually quick to dismiss a compliment that someone pays us about our appearance, talents, deeds, etc. I bumped into a friend in the street and she said to me “your hair looks lovely” just as I was despairing of the abundance of grey roots and shapeless style. I have been trying to look just presentable, never mind lovely!
Another thing about this imperfect heart which I crocheted, is that the back of it is very different to the front. A mess of tangled threads and ends, just like our lives. Normally I would weave in those ends, but this time I have deliberately left them as they are. They are a reminder that my life, our lives, everyone’s lives are messy, but that mess will turn us all into someone precious.
Sometimes when I have been asked to pray with someone who is unhappy about something relating to themselves, their past life, feeling ‘not a good enough Christian’, not meeting standards, etc. I quote these verses from Isaiah, or give them a little card with the words. However instead of ‘Jacob’ and ‘Israel’ I insert their name. Perhaps you would like to do the same with your name – and know yourself loved.
yr un wnaeth dy greu di, Jacob, a rhoi siâp i ti, Israel:
“Paid bod ag ofn! Dw i wedi dy ollwng di’n rhydd!
Dw i wedi dy alw wrth dy enw! Fi piau ti!
Pan fyddi di’n mynd drwy lifogydd, bydda i gyda ti;
neu drwy afonydd, fyddan nhw ddim yn dy gario di i ffwrdd.
Wrth i ti gerdded drwy dân, fyddi di’n cael dim niwed;
fydd y fflamau ddim yn dy losgi di.
Achos fi ydy’r ARGLWYDD dy Dduw di,
Un Sanctaidd Israel, dy Achubwr di!
Rhoddais yr Aifft yn dâl amdanat ti,
Cwsh Ref a Seba yn dy le di.
Dw i’n dy drysori di ac yn dy garu di,
achos ti’n werthfawr yn fy ngolwg i.”
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression
you will not be burned up, the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place
because you are precious to me.
You are honoured, and I love you.”
Boed i chwi ddaioni Duw,
A da, a saith gwaith da, fo i chwi dreulio eich bywydau:
Bo i chwi fod megis ynys yn y môr,
Bo i chwi fod megis bryn ger y lli,
Bo i chwi fod megis seren yn y tywyllwch,
Bo i chwi fod ffon i’r gwan;
Boed i’r cariad rhoddodd Crist Iesu lenwi pob calon i chwi;
Boed i’r cariad rhoddodd Crist Iesu eich llenwi dros bawb.
May God’s Goodness be yours,
And well, and seven times well, may you spend your lives:
May you be an isle in the sea,
May you be a hill on the shore,
May you be a star in the darkness,
May you be a staff to the weak;
May the love Christ Jesus gave fill every heart for you;
May the love Christ Jesus gave fill you for every one.
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