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Frayed Beauty

Sitting at the dining room table I stare, unfocused, at the woven tapestry that sits in the center. Many things are weighing heavy on my mind as my fingers rub the tassels that edge the artful piece. In the tapestry, amid the colorful strands, I see the weavings of my own life. It seems that about as quickly as I weave the thread of another life experience or new person into the tapestry, that there is something already tugging at the strings, snagging and unraveling them.

It has happened so often that it phases me less and less. I know just what to do. I scoop up the frayed fabric that is my life and lay it gently across my bed. Gingerly I reweave the threads back into the tapestry, tying the knots of my challenging times and broken relationships into place. I am ever hopeful that the fabric will be whole again, at least as it can be viewed from the outside.

The thing is, from the front, the tapestry looks suitable to the onlooker. It’s the facade that I allow others to see. It’s the illusion that everything is just fine. Yet, turn the fabric over, and the backside is a different picture, all together. The reverse side shows the random knots and stretched threads where I have had to make repairs. Reweaving the tapestry of my life is necessary to represent the changes, the loss of relationships, and the many hardships that have come and gone from my life.

My life is an intricate tapestry, woven with a rainbow of colors and tangible textures. Each thread represents a person, experience or memory that is or has been a part of me. Some are brighter than others, signifying those times when life seemed to be going my way. There are times when the threads take a darker hue, representing those times when I have endured hardships and significant losses.

My tapestry is full of a myriad of colors, imperfections and unique details. The joys and blessings have created this design, as have my suffering and disappointments. Each person in my life has a special thread whose texture and color best represent our life together. Some threads are longer than others, representing the many years we have graced one another’s lives. There are shorter threads, too, for those people who have come into my life for just a season, only to be gone just as quickly. Each of these threads are imperfect, needing knots to repair my life tapestry when challenges have descended upon it.

If you look closely, you will notice there is a thread that weaves through everything. It holds all the threads of the tapestry in place, creating continuity among it all. This is the thread of the Creator who has been present through all the challenges and joys in my life. It is the only thread that has never needed to be repaired. The only thread that doesn't get tangled up as my life falls apart.

This Thread is the One I turn to be anchored in my faith, and to seek the much-needed support when things begin to unravel. The Creator promises to be present with me, no matter what. The Prophet Isaiah spoke saying, “Do not fear, because I am with you; don’t be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will surely help you; I will hold you with my righteous strong hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, CEB)