Thoughts on a Sweater

It’s autumn in my corner of the globe. Leaves are falling and fading, crunching under feet. The haze is getting cold and damp, nearly oppressive in a painful way. We’ve not yet had a good frost. But who knows–maybe by the time this entry posts we will.

I’m starting to pull out my heavier clothes. The first thing that comes out is my sweater. It’s my favorite. It’s all shades of earth tone browns in a heavy knit.

I’m told it’s Irish wool and hand knitted in Ireland. I’m not sure of that, but I can see the patterns of the knots–if it’s not hand-made, the machines are a little too human.

I bought it a few years ago in a consignment shop, and it brings back bittersweet memories. Dee the shop owner had become a good friend over the few years. I often learned about fashion from her, and I often taught her that any rule could be broken and result in a good outfit.

I felt guilty about my purchase. She was closing her shop. Aged parents put too much strain on her body. She was trying to get rid of everything to reopen in a new location with a narrower focus on imported conversation-starting outfits. I paid so little for the piece. I think she might have given it to me if it weren’t for my foolish pride.

Of course, being the nerd I am, I had to look at Irish wool making and sweater weaving. I read about the sheep, I saw videos on creating yarn, and I watched as sweaters got knitted.

One of the most fascinating stories involved the patterns in the sweaters as well as the knots. It was said that the pattern of the knitting combined with how the knots were hidden on the inside were like a calling card — so unique that fishermen’s bodies washing up on beaches could be identified by the patterns of weave and knots.

In some part of my mind, I wonder if our lives look like sweaters to our Heavenly Father.

Are our good choices and good deeds the weaving on the sweater of our lives? Are our sins and failings the knots hidden on the inside? When we wash up on the shores of the crystal rivers of eternity, can He identify us by the patterns of the weaving and knots?

Although we’ll never know until we get there, I’d like to think so.

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