I grew up around quilts. My Grandmother, Mother and some of my Aunts were/are quilters. I wonder if anyone ever counted how many quilts my Grandma Lena made. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if that number was well into the hundreds. I have two of those hand stitched beauties, one is my baby quilt and one is full-sized. My Mom made quite a few, too. I can still see her in my mind's eye, bent over a quilt frame, fingers flying from stitch to stitch. I have a couple of those, too.
As much as I love having those reminders of times past, none of them are THE quilt. They are delicate and pretty with embroidered flowers and it was taught to me at a young age that they should be handled with the utmost care, so I am hesitant to use them. Breaking even a single stitch on one of those treasures would cause me a great deal of anxiety so I am saving them to pass to my children after I'm gone. I hope they will put them to good use.
No, THE quilt is something quite different. THE quilt is a heavy duty blanket, dark and sturdy, made from denim and flannel and tied with red string. As much as it weighs, one might think that it is lined with lead. It feels almost as heavy as the vest the dentist puts over your body when he takes x-rays of your teeth. We are talking serious coverage (pun intended)!
We acquired THE quilt several months after we were married, after my husband's great-uncle passed away. We lived in his old farmhouse with him after our marriage until it was time to dispose of his belongings. One of the few things that we brought out with us was THE quilt. We don't know who made it (probably Uncle Lee's mother) or how old it is (probably made in the early 40s) but those things aren't important when that blanket is keeping us warm!
|THE quilt still has wrinkles from storage but they'll hang out eventually.|
Yes, THE quilt keeps us warm on cold nights but it also does something else. I helps me sleep more soundly. THE quilt is so heavy that it keeps me from tossing and turning all night. I'm such a restless sleeper! THE quilt reminds my sleeping brain to be still by gently but firmly keeping my limbs from taking over and flailing about. It is that heavy! I doesn't immobilize me but it keeps me still.
Until THE quilt is put on the bed, it does no good to stave off the chill or keep me from tossing and turning. It is kinda like THE faith (you knew that was coming, didn't you?). My spirit grows cold without an active faith. Until I take it out of storage and PUT IT TO USE, it does me no good. Its storage allows my spirit to be restless, flailing around looking for a place to rest. My heart remains tired and unrepentant, becoming hardened by selfish motives, blind to the things of God. Been there, done that, making every effort to never go back. My faith, just like THE quilt, still has wrinkles in it from storage but they'll hang out eventually.