by the Night Writer
The other night someone’s comment made me pause, as I do around this time of the year, to reflect on the Christmas message of a Savior coming amongst us. Readers familiar with my annual “Christmas Special” will recall that the first benefit of faith (and grace) is not in getting what we deserve, but in not getting what we deserve. So, anyway, the other night I thought, “God, I just wanted to get off the hook.”
And then the thought appeared in my mind, “You misunderstand. You are the hook.”
Then on Sunday my pastor stated that our vision for the coming year is to “join and knit” as a community. When he said that I remembered “the hook” and then, instead of thinking of a sharp fish hook, or a big shepherd’s crook, I thought of crocheting hooks and how they work: reaching out, hooking the yarn, pulling it close and wrapping it with another piece of yarn. The finished product is something snug and warm and when you look at it you cannot tell which piece of yarn submitted to the other because all you see is the union. As in a marriage. As in a community. As in a fellowship.
The thing is, to join and knit you need someone willing to reach and someone willing to be reached. And not just reached, but pulled into something bigger and better and that is a hard thing. You can organize several skeins of yarn and lay them close together and admire the color and texture of each individually and imagine what the sweater or afghan might look like, but if each keeps to itself you have lovely yarn and not much else.
A friend of mine has chosen the word Discipline as her theme for the year. It’s a good word, and a useful ideal. I choose a variation of the word, however: Disciple. I resolve to continue to let myself be discipled, and to be willing to disciple others.