Stella is a Pastoral Lay Employee of Calderdale Circuit, a post she has held for over a dozen years. She works with all age groups and goes from visiting someone in hospital, to teaching Safeguarding, preaching, to helping at lunch club, seeing a Probationer Minister, to cooking at Messy Church. She is also an Anglican Reader and a tutor for students at the School of Ministry at Mirfield. In her spare time she makes lace, practices yoga and lives with, and walks an elderly black Labrador named Ceri.
The threads come first in this piece, because I wanted to use the plait. It is made with very different weights of thread and so the pattern has to be simple. I chose to make a pattern in two halves, prayer life and ‘other’ life.
The plait represents prayer and forms a solid edge to one half of the piece. Inside that is a variegated, knobbly pair of threads (lace is usually done in pairs) representing the situations and people we pray for. They are sometimes pretty and sometimes not so!
The ‘other’ half has a soft, pretty, fluffy thread forming the edge, where lives are much more fragile and gentle. Inside that is a bold, coloured, glittery pair – our work, our play – all that can dominate if we let them.
Both halves have a firm, cream pair on the inside – God’s love for us forming the spine of our being.
The whole is held together by two weavers that go through all of the piece and work around one another – holding both halves of life as a single entity. I chose to use a firm, bold, burgundy colour, because it is purposeful and shows throughout the piece – lives having meaning in all their aspects.
I have deliberately left the tail unfinished as our lives are never completed without God.
Some people find it easier to still their minds while their hands are busy. Some prefer to just look.
Some symbolise God with their hands, some with their minds, some with both.
Which are you?
Have you ever tried another way?
God is infinitely resourceful and gives each of us our own gifts, but he also invites us to step out of our comfort zone and explore.
How will your prayer look today?
Two Lace Makers Prayers
‘I pray that, risen from the dead,
In glory I will stand.
A crown perhaps upon my head,
A bobbin in my hand
“Lord, let me grow old like beautiful lace,
cherished and treasured and care for with grace.