Sometimes, a random act of kindness that seems small and insignificant to the giver, can have an unpredictable and far reaching impact.
That’s what Judy discovered when she made a quilt in four days.
Judy belongs to a quilter’s group in Missouri that often donates the quilts they make to a variety of service projects. They donated 80 quilts to survivors of the Joplin tornado. They continue to make quilts for a pregnancy crisis center. One service project opened Judy’s eyes to the truth that God delights to use our gifts to bring comfort and display His grace to others.
Through her church, Judy had heard of a young boy with a deteriorating disease. Judy had it on her heart to make this boy a quilt; in fact, she had already bought the material and drew a pattern of the boy’s hand print so she could intermingle embroidered patterns of his hand and brightly colored trucks in what quilters call a boondoggle pattern. No hurry. It was only September and she hoped to give the quilt to the family for Christmas.
One Wednesday night changed everything. At her church’s Wednesday evening program, she heard that the boy’s disease had escalated and the family projected he didn’t have long to live.
“It felt like God tapped me on the shoulder,” Judy said, “and told me, ‘Get to work.'”
- That evening, she cut out the pieces.
- Thursday, her quilting group rallied around her, insisting she concentrate on her quilt while they worked on the other scheduled projects. She spent the morning sewing the pieces together.
- Friday, Judy embroidered the handprints and a friend embroidered the boy’s name onto the quilt.
- Saturday morning, another friend machine quilted the quilt with an industrial quilting machine.
- Saturday afternoon, Judy finished binding the quilt.
- Sunday, she delivered the quilt to the family at church.
The twelve year old boy lived until March of the following year. Judy didn’t know the family well enough to feel comfortable in attending the funeral. But she found out later that the family had hung that colorful quilt on the wall opposite the boy’s bed. At his funeral, that beautiful quilt that the Lord enabled Judy to make in three and a half days, draped his casket.
How can something so simple as a quilt bring such comfort to a family?
“We could just go buy a blanket at Walmart,” Judy explains. “But a handmade quilt says you took the time and effort to care.”
When Judy displayed her quilts at my church’s Women’s Fellowship meeting, we were amazed at her skill and creativity. But Judy’s story of a quilt for a twelve year old boy left us with a different message that we longed to find ways to apply to our own lives.
“God can use your talents and hobbies in ways you never dreamed possible.”