3 I thank my God every time I remember you, 4 constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you, 5 because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.
-Philippians 1:3-6, NRSV
My husband says I have too much yarn. Crafters of Wesley, back me up here: that can’t possibly be true, right?
I’m an avid crocheter. Most days find me with a crochet hook in one hand and a ball of yarn in the other. And like most devotees of the fiber arts, that has led to a considerable yarn stash in our basement. Some are leftover bits of yarn from some long-completed project. Others are bundles of yarn for an aspirational project that has yet to be put to the hook. Still others are the result of irresistible impulse buys, from back in the days when you could just walk through a craft store and squish all those softer-than-soft yarns.
Some yarns, though, are earmarked for a work in progress — WIPs, as they’re known in the crochet world. There’s the bag of yarn for the blanket I’m making for Ellie (perhaps a third of the way done?). There’s the soft skein for that pair of fingerless gloves (I just can’t manage to decipher the pattern!). And, of course, there’s the stack of skeins for the half-finished crochet nativity scene (complete with crochet manger and crochet baby Jesus!). All works in progress, WIPs, with piles of yarn yet to be wound, twisted, knotted, and hooked.
Of course, “work in progress” is a bit of a charitable term. Some of these “works in progress” haven’t seen much actual progress in quite some time. (Crafters, you know what I’m talking about.) And yet, even while I still have so many projects to complete, and so much yarn stacked in the basement, I still find myself eyeing the yarn collections every time the online yarn shop advertises a sale. (Ooh… I wonder what I could make with that…)
What can I say? I love the possibility of a new ball of yarn. I love thinking about what it can become, with a bit of time and effort and practiced hands. Even if it’ll take years for the “work in progress” to become a “finished work,” I still find myself enchanted by the possibilities.
All of this is to say — I’m convinced, my friends, that God crochets. We’re the yarn in this metaphor, of course, the work-in-progress… and it’s quite something, what we can become, with a bit of time and the Spirit’s effort and God’s practiced, grace-filled hands. I imagine my God as the one who delights in the work that God has only just begun in us, who delights in all the possibility of a work-in-progress, who delights in what we may yet become.
And as God delights in you, dear works-in-progress, may you remember: