May 20, 2013

Flipped Seams

Devotion for the week...

Nesting seams is a great way to make blocks match up nicely, so I always pay attention to direction when I'm pressing seam allowances. Sometimes patterns even specify which way to press seams so everything will nest and produce a nice, flat block.
Nesting seams in the middle of a pinwheel
View from the front - this is the center of one of the Golden Album blocks
Unfortunately, sometimes my sewing machine will flip the bottom seam allowance the wrong way as I'm feeding the pieces through. I'm usually focused on keeping my raw edges even and my seam allowances a consistent 1/4", so I'm not really paying attention to the bottom of what I'm sewing. From the top, everything looks good. Then I flip it over.

To be completely honest, I usually leave the flipped seam and just continue on, though I am more vigilant about those bottom seams allowances for a while.

As a Christian, it's not my top and bottom I need to be concerned about - it's my outside and inside. We're very conscious of the image we portray on the outside. We dress appropriately, we don't swear, we show up for church (hopefully on time), we'll help with children's or women's ministries and we'll always have something for the offering plate. All very good things but, like the seam allowances on my top pieces, all visible too.

In Matthew 23, Jesus pronounces seven woes on the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, the religious elite of His day. Among others, He says, "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness." (Matthew 23: 27 - 28).

As Christians, we are supposed to go to church, dress modestly, use clean and respectful language, give cheerfully to God and work diligently to build up the church. But those external things aren't everything. We shouldn't feel we've got it all figured out because we've mastered the appearance of a good Christian.

What about the bottom seam allowances, the inside, the stuff that's harder to see? What about our thoughts? While we're shaking hands and smiling at people at church, are we criticizing their clothing, their parenting, their church attendance record?

What about Bible reading? Do we read along with the pastor as he reads his text for his sermon and count that good for the week? Do we have to blow the dust off our Bibles on Sunday morning so we can carry them to church?

What about prayer? Do we thank God for each meal and leave it at that? Or do we pray a rote prayer with the kids as we tuck them in, but not bother to talk to God for ourselves?

Just as the seam allowances can get flipped as I'm sewing, our actions aren't always going the right way either. One of my boys once asked if I pray every night before I go to bed, like they do, and I had to admit that I don't. I pray sporadically throughout the day, but rarely take a consistent, dedicated time of prayer. I try to read my Bible more days than I don't, but there are weeks when I miss even that modest target.

We don't want to be like whitewashed tombs. We want our insides to match our outsides. In order for that to happen, we need to pay attention when the Spirit nudges us, telling us something we've said or done isn't Christ-like. We need to spend time with God, both in prayer and Bible reading to know Him more. The more we know Him, the more we can allow His character to infiltrate ours.

Because being like Jesus is better than being like a tomb.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Leanne! This is the one I meant. I really liked what you said about appearances.


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