(The original title of my book Slow Dancing in the Sanctuary was Weaving a Life. The following relates to that title and the poem that inspired it.)
For those of you who may have entered at Act II and wondered about the title of my book, here is a little background:
Weaving a Life is the culmination of a Bible study I led in a women’s group at Chapel of the Cross in Westborough, Mass. The title may seem an odd choice for a book on sexuality and spirituality, but it was inspired by a poem I love by Rainer Maria Rilke. It begins like this:
“She who reconciles the ill-matched threads
of her life, and weaves them gratefully
into a single cloth —
it’s she who drives the loudmouths from the hall
and clears it for a different celebration
where the one guest is you.”
The poem speaks about the often disjointed pieces of our lives… baggage from our past, wounds, disappointments, events we’d just as soon forget, never to revisit. The ill-matched threads may be attitudes we’ve developed over time that keep these parts of our lives compartmentalized. Yet the goal is ever before us… a single cloth… woven of each and every thread. We may hear voices in our heads telling us this is the way to safety or even holiness, to keep it all contained and shut down. Yet if a thing is not opened up, examined and embraced, how can it be redeemed? The one guest, Christ, is all about redemption and Life. What kind of a celebration might he have waiting if we’re willing to learn how to weave?
So there’s a task before us, but we aren’t alone in it. In Psalm 139 it speaks of God as the master weaver. This is also a part of the title, and it has to do with the value God places on our wholeness — body, mind and spirit. We are not only made in his image, he delights in every detail of our very form and desires us to bring all that we are before him. It says, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” We are his masterpiece, frail and glorious. Are we even aware?
Can you imagine God delighting in all of you — body, mind and spirit?
Are there threads you would rather leave out of your cloth? What if God could redeem those? What could gratitude have to do with it?
What might God want to do with your one frail and glorious life, embraced and surrendered?