God Knits a Planby Susan Olson
When individuals and churches help people serve, they're part of God's plans. When Susan Olson arranged for and led volunteers at a recent convention of the Northwest District of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, she didn't know the plans God had for one of those volunteers.
Cheryl came to the Northwest District Convention as a volunteer for one day. She was not sure exactly what to expect, but she was certain God had called her to be in the Prayer Tent area. This area was dedicated for people who desired to pray for the requests received from convention attendees and exhibitors; and for those who wished to join in corporate prayer with others, to be prayed over, or to reflect and meditate in a quiet place.
That morning Cheryl packed her shawls - prayer shawls that had been dedicated and were to be given to specific recipients. She also brought her needle and yarn to work on yet another prayer shawl, one for which there was no recipient. It would be green and blue, colors representing comfort and healing.
Throughout the day she prayed with people and talked to people. She told many about the Prayer Shawl ministry. She also continued to work on the green and blue shawl.
She prayed over the stitches. "Dear Lord, please bless this needle of mine, that I may make a shawl of strength, faith, health and love. May the recipient be able to know that you are with them and they are not alone. May they know they are cared for, loved and prayed for, that your loving arms are around them to protect them, whatever their need. Lord, thank you for the blessings that you give with this shawl. Amen."
Later that day, as Cheryl was finishing the shawl, God revealed who He had in mind to receive it. Earlier, one of the convention attendees had fallen and been hospitalized. Cheryl had not known this until she received a prayer request for the man's family because the man had died. The unknown was revealed. God had brought Cheryl to the convention to make the shawl for this man's wife.
The prayer shawl was dedicated by the convention chaplain during the final prayer that Saturday. The shawl became a visible reminder of the convention theme "The Spirit gives life" from 2 Corinthians 3:6. A few verses earlier are these words: "And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts" (vs. 3).
Cheryl, God spoke through you. Not with ink, but in the yarn of green and blue, given by Him as a "ministry of the Spirit of glory" (vs. 8).
June 2009. Susan Olson is Director of Marketing and Volunteers for the Northwest District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in Portland, Oregon.
More information about prayer shawl ministry