Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Crazy Quilt, for a Sane Life?

In my grandmother's house, on her bed, was a quilt. She called it a “crazy quilt,” because it didn't seem to follow any certain pattern, like the Wedding Ring or the North Star. The patches were all in their own kind of order, just a crazy mess, to anyone who just happened to see it. In truth, though, there was nothing crazy about it. In fact, each patch had its own story: This one might be from the nightgown of her brother, who died at nine months of typhus. This other one, possibly from her own favorite dancing dress, when a teenager. That patch was from the back of the suit jacket her father wore when he married her mother, back when a gentleman was known by his team and carriage. So, while it may not have been laid out in the splendid fashion of those on display in the Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, or shown for sale at an Amish fruit stand outside Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this “crazy” quilt held the memories of many lives, in a form to give comfort on the coldest nights, and was held together in such a way as to say that the memories, and so the strength and the hopes of those lives would continue. This is the kind of crazy we all need a little more of, I think. This book I offer you is crazy, in just that kind of way. It contains memories, laid out in a “crazy,” kind of way: not from the West family, or the Pattersons, but from holy people throughout time, as the real, laughing,, bleeding, kind of family that we are. Just like the Wests, we have our quirks, and like the Pattersons, we have a history that, truly, only God knows. But it is not just a collection of old stories for the sake of the telling, but lessons acquired over many, many, years which I hope will resonate with your own stories, and draw us all closer to being one with that Source of all existence.

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