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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Prayer Shawl

My Aunt Loraine, who recently crossed over, nudged me in a most beautiful way. Prior to Aunt Loraine's funeral, one of her daughters told me of my aunt's last day alive on earth. Hospice, as they had done in the past with my brother Jack, was there to ease Aunt Loraine's transition from this life to the Other Side. In their compassionate way, hospice staff made her as comfortable as possible during her last hours. Aunt Loraine was in a hospital room (she had broken her hip) but the lights were off except for a Tiffany lamp set on a side table. Beautiful music was playing softly in the background. She was covered with a prayer shawl that someone had lovingly made.

When I heard about the prayer shawl that comforted my aunt, I knew immediately that I wanted to take part in the prayer shawl ministry as soon as possible. As a spinner and knitter/crocheter, this was a way I could not only honor my Aunt Loraine, but could soothe many others who needed the warmth, love, and compassion all wrapped up in a handmade prayer shawl.

But there's more to this decision to get involved in such a ministry. If truth be told, I needed healing, too. These last few years have been hard ones on many fronts. Hurt, pain, and sadness have punctuated particularly the last year; not a life/death situation, but difficult nonetheless. For weeks now it's been hard to spin at a wheel for more than 5 minutes at a time. I'd begin spinning and find myself get up and wander away from the wheel, unable to maintain concentration or desire. It was even difficult to make me knit more than a few rows at a time. And forget dyeing. Never in 30 years of practicing the fiber arts had this happened. It was a personal crisis. I'm not surprised that Aunt Loraine was there with one of the answers...give. Look for an upcoming post on another of the answers...receive.

For those also wanting to get involved in the prayer shawl ministry, this site is a good place to start: Prayer Shawl Ministry.


  1. Giving is easier than receiving. So I discovered over the past year while dealing with breast cancer. Receiving feels like I'm not in control, and it's a hard (and valuable) lesson for a person who likes to have things under control. Letting go of that control is a necessary act of courage.

    Knitting a prayer shawl and giving it to someone is one of the most heartwarming things you can do for yourself and another person. Good luck with your ministry.
    Regards from the Jersey Shore,

  2. You're SO RIGHT, IS easier than receiving.

    I pray that you're healing and in remission. I thank you for sharing your thoughts here.

    Additional thanks for your good wishes regarding my involvement in the prayer shawl ministry.

    With love,