The Quilt by T. Davis Bunn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I bought the "little" book at Goodwill. I've read several T. Davis Bunn books. My Mom participates in a Prayer Shawl ministry. The ladies knit a shawl for a shut-in and while they knit they pray for that person. Well, this book's storyline is similar except the ladies in the book are helping a very elderly lady, Mary, make a quilt. Mary teaches the ladies the importance of prayer especially the giving of thanks. The following story is told by Mary after one of the ladies find a poem written on a sheet of paper stuck in one of Mary's old Bibles (George Matheson was the author of the poem):
"George Matheson was a man of the Lord, born and raised in Scotland. I forgot when he lived, but I know it wasn't in this century. He fell in love with a beautiful young lady, and they planned to marry. Not long before his wedding day, George Matheson discovered he was going blind."
Mary waited until the room quietened, then continued, "He did what he had to do, went to his young lady and told her the news. Told her she could break off the engagement if she wanted, but that he still loved her and wanted to marry if she would have him. The woman thought about it for several days, then came back and said that though she loved him, she did not want to spend the rest of her life with a blind man. And the wedding was off. Soon after this, George Matheson wrote a hymn."
Mary turned back from the window. She lifted the brittle page with trembling hands, looked at it for a long moment, then handed it over to Lou Ann. Her voice was as shaky as her hands when she said, "Read that first verse for me, honey, my eyes aren't what they used to be."
Lou Ann studied the ancient script, read in a halting voice.
O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
"The Lord holds me always in His love, Dr Caswell [this was her preacher who had given her this poem/hymn shortly after her baby had died) told me," Mary said to the silent room." Always there, always loving, always giving, always healing. At my weakest, the Lord is strongest."
Mary paused a moment, kneading one hand with the other, then said, "George Matheson went blind, and he didn't marry the girl. He lived a full life for his Lord, and toward the end of his time on earth he wrote a prayer. I think more than anything these words were what saw me through my own dark times." She looked at Lou Ann, said, "Just read that section there at the bottom that starts, 'My God,' please child."
Lou Ann cleared her throat, wiped her eyes, read,
I have never thanked thee for my thorn.
I have thanked thee a thousand times for my roses,
But never once for my thorn.
Teach me the glory of my cross,
Teach me the value of my thorn.
Show me that I have climbed to thee by the path of my pain.
Show me that my tears have made my rainbows.
"There's lessons right along to the end of the road," Mary said, her eyes back on the window. She sighed, shook her head, said softly to the world outside, "What strength that man must have had."
If you enjoyed this story you will enjoy the book!
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