On Friday June 2, I did something for Peace of Thread that I’d never done before. I traced patterns for our eyeglass cases (always a best seller during the summer months). This job involves taking a piece of cardboard and tracing it against a piece of fabric with a marker so that someone else can cut the shape out and make it into a bag. Like a lot of people who are trying to do something new, I found my work both challenging and rewarding.
The most challenging and rewarding part of tracing was looking at each piece of fabric and imagining it as a bag. What would those orange stripes look like when my diamond shape was folded into a rectangle? How could I fit as many bright blue flowers as possible into my narrow lines so that they would all show up on the final product?
As I set one scrap of fabric after another to the side and watched Denise S. start to turn them into bags, it occurred to me that our work with refugees is a lot like tracing patterns. We look at someone who’s been through a lot of hardship-someone who may look kind of “scrappy”-and imagine what her future could look like. Then we work with her so that she can become the best person she can be. In this case, the “patterns” we use are the personality and talents that God has given each woman. God is the designer and the only one who knows what His “final product” will look like. But we have the privilege of watching that plan unfurl as we get to know each woman.
Of course, unlike a bag, a person is never “finished.” The women we love still make mistakes. They still have flaws and the scars from their past. But it has been a blessing to watch them become vibrant and empowered as they learn how to support themselves in America.
If you would like to be part of this work, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org