I first heard about the Prayer Shawl Ministry from my mom and decided this might be something I could do during the many hours I would be spending with EZ before, during and after transplant. Sometimes called Prayer Shawls, Comfort Shawls, Peace Shawls, or Mantles, the shawl maker begins with prayers and blessings for the recipient. These prayers are continued throughout the creation of the shawl, with a final blessing being offered before the shawl is sent on its way.
Sounded like a wonderful idea, but there was one problem...I didn't know how to knit. So my mom helped me gather the necessary supplies, gave me a quick lesson, and off I went to get started.
Well... I still haven't completed my shawl, and I certainly have made more than a few mistakes, but the process has been relaxing and rewarding as I pray for the one who might somehow be comforted when wrapped in my shawl. I'm going to make sure it goes to a cancer patient and pray she isn't bothered by the imperfections. (Paula, please don't look too closely. You are a little too far away in the UK to give me the guidance I need!)
My mother completed one shawl and is working on a second with a dear friend, Jean Edwards, who recently rekindled her love for crocheting. The two of them get together every Thursday at our house to laugh, catch up and crochet. Can't you just see how much fun they have together? And they're making great progress! I know the recipients of their shawls will feel the love, laughter and friendship that was shared in the precious hours these two spend together crocheting and praying.
Here is one Prayer of Blessing for a completed shawl, written by Janet Bristow of the Shawl Ministry website:
May God's grace be upon this shawl...
warming, comforting, enfolding and embracing.
May this mantle be a safe haven...a sacred place of security and well-being...
May the one who receives this shawl be cradled in hope, kept in joy, graced with peace, and wrapped in love. Blessed be!
EZ received three "blankets" given as gifts and felt covered in love and prayer. Anyone out there like to knit or crochet? Why not make a prayer shawl and bless someone who is going through a difficult time. (And if you make one, be sure to send me a picture!)