Beauty from Brokenness: The Life Quilt

God made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him…. God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes. Psalm 18:20, 24 MSG

Life Quilt

There’s a life story pieced together in this quilt.

In silk and satin, velvet and brocade, scraps of fine fabrics were elegantly and expertly stitched together, decorated with delicately painted flowers and butterflies, and ornately embellished with embroidered flowers, leaves, and fans.Quilt piece

Each scrap connected to a memory, each flower a symbol of an emotion, each stitch a thought to put on display.

Made beautiful from broken pieces, it’s a scrapbook of life left behind by a young woman…who had no one behind her to leave it to. When her heart-broken husband gave it to my great-grandparents, he neglected to read it to them.

Who are you?

Your quilt hangs in my living room, where I’m able to appreciate its beauty every day…yet your life story is a mystery I desperately wish I could read…and a novel I’d love to write.

quilt dandelionWhy silks and velvet? A Portuguese immigrant living in Martha’s Vineyard in the 1800’s, the wife of a ship’s captain, does not wear high society fabrics such as these. You had no children…no scraps of Sunday dresses or little boys knickers to piece together in remembrance of their laughter. So was the brocade to remind you of beauty? Are there more sorrows than joys sewn in the stitches?

Is yours a story of a hoped-for life never lived?

Tulip pieceYour embellishments speak the Victorian language of flowers: a painted dandelion hints at a flirtatious encounter, the repeated tulips at various types of love.

A sunflower tells of your pure and lofty thoughts, and the most repeated feature–the oak leaf–of strength.

But is it your strength or another’s you speak of?

oak leafThere are snowdrops for hope and comfort, and finally…the butterfly.

Butterfly                                                                            A symbol of the resurrection…

the place where the broken pieces of every life are made whole, and all stories are re-written in the words of redemption.

Thank you, lost heroine of your own story, for the beauty you created with the broken pieces of your life.

I pray the story of my own life would read so beautifully one day.

Linda Crawford

Linda Crawford
©Linda Crawford 2013

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