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Monday, February 10, 2014

A tapestry of love

A tapestry is a type of weaving whereby a warp is used to construct a fabric consisting of a warp upon which colored threads are woven. The process is done by hand and will eventually produce a particular design - most of the time a picture of sorts.  Anyone who engages in this art of tapestry weaving will tell you about the significant amount detail worked into the finished product.  Many of these tapestry pieces will be multi-dimensional.  In other words, they don't just hang flat on the wall, but have texture which is part of the imagery of what is being portrayed.  For example, if the tapestry depicts mountains, the craftsman may use some bulkier yarns which are not as well processed as others, leaving larger loops of this yarn or not pulling them as tight on the loom.  The process gives the work a "dimensional" image.  The warp is made up of the same size threads or yarns strung across the loom over and over again in consecutive rows.  This becomes the foundation upon which the craftsman will weave in the various colored materials until a work of art if brought forth.  These are strong fibers and will eventually be covered totally by the weaving which will transpire.  They serve a purpose, but they are not seen once they are covered with the beauty of the fibers which will be woven into their "base".  The materials woven into the warp are referred to as the weft.  The weft may be of various colors, materials, and strengths.  These lend to the beauty of the finished product, but aren't what gives its enduring qualities - it is the warp which provides that strength and endurance.  I wonder if this is why God emphasizes so much what becomes the basis of our lives?  Maybe he is so concerned about the "warp" of our lives that we feel like he isn't being quick enough to add the "weft".  We want the display of beauty, but we forget about the foundation of true beauty.

I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God’s great mystery. All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we’ve been shown the mystery! I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or “the Secret.”  (Colossians 2:2-4 MSG)

A tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God.  Imagine the imagery portrayed when the final piece of material is woven into this one! The beauty would be magnificent, wouldn't it?  Yet, we cannot forget the warp of the image portrayed - for this really provides the strength upon which the beauty is displayed.  The foundation laid in our lives is created by the one with the vision for the finished piece.  He knows the spacing of events which will act as the fibers he will build upon, the tension which should be applied so the warp of these fibers remains consistent, and then he maintains that tension and spacing until the finished product is displayed.  We cannot expect him to begin the work of weaving all the color and texture into our lives until he has carefully and laboriously finished the work of creating the "warp".

Someone familiar with the creation of such tapestries will share the importance of choosing the correct spacing for the work you want to display in the end.  Some tapestry creations will have warp fibers strung across the loom quite close together simply because the intention for the finished product may be something very densely woven, yet intricately created - like a fine piece of linen with intricate design.  Move those warp fibers just a little further apart, but equally as tight across the loom and you have space to add something which resembles an uneven surface, but which presents the imagery of the various dimensions of the scene portrayed.  The consistent thing with the warp is the tension which is exerted upon which these weft fibers will be placed.  It should come as no surprise to us that the thing which brings the strength and endurance to the tapestry is often determined by the tension exerted on the warp - the more tension exerted, the more stable the piece.

The weft may not go entirely across the tapestry - something referred to as going from selvage edge to selvage edge.  The craftsman may want to depict a sunrise in the middle of the piece, so he doesn't weave the yellows, tans, and grays of sunrise from selvage edge to selvage edge, but breaks in upon one color midway into another to create the impression of the rays of sunburst across the sky at dawn.  This speaks to me of the various experiences of life which begin to be woven into our lives as we experience the dawning of his grace and the magnitude of his skillful eye in creating the detail of our lives. The image may not make sense at first, for the one creating has only a "minds-eye" image of the finished piece, but in time, the pieces placed into the warp begin to take shape.  The weft fibers are often considered the most important by the weaver - because they display what the craftsman can only see until it begins to become apparent in the beauty of his creation.  

The weft fibers aren't like the fibers we use when knitting a sweater.  Those fibers need to be rather similar in texture and created to blend.  When the craftsman creates the tapestry, he can choose fibers of various texture, color, strength, and length.  It is the uniqueness of these fibers which lends to the majesty of the finished piece.  We sometimes discount the things we think don't lend much to the "finished piece" of our lives, but even the most unlikely "fiber" can lend great beauty when in the hands of the skilled craftsman.  We don't see the warp when he is all done, but in the end, we know we can count on the lasting-quality of the tapestry because of the foundation of these warp fibers.  Today may be your time of having the fibers of your warp spaced and stretched to the right consistency.  Don't rush the process.  God knows the timing and the specific tension which must be created to give you and I the best foundation upon which he may display his evidence of grace and love.  As he begins to use the fibers of our experience, talent, and treasure, weaving them onto the warp so skillfully, we will begin to see the beauty of his skilled touch.  Be patient with his work - for he has great beauty to bring forth.  No fiber is too insignificant, too short, or too "rough" to be used.  Just sayin!