Reconcile with Scarves and Wine

a ball of yarn

We are broken, You and I.

You caused the heart ache.

I caused the bond break.

And sorry just doesn’t cut it.

The past that once was filled with joy is all pain now.

The present empty,

The future, inconceivable.

And still there is that small faint voice

Insisting that I mend it.

But, how can the ripped-up fabric of us ever be beautiful again?

Or healed, or whole?


a ball of yarn

Reconciliation is like the woman who longed to make a sweater.

She searched and searched and found the perfect yarn.

She knit and knit for hours and hours,

And made herself a sweater.

But, the sweater lay untouched in the back of a drawer,

For, though the yarn was beautiful and the stitches perfect,

The collar was crooked and the fit was bad.

She couldn’t wear it and she couldn’t bear to throw it away.

So she took it out from time to time,  felt the smooth stitches and frowned over the way it had turned out.

One day the woman realized that the yarn was still wonderful,

And she believed that it still held great promise.

So she unraveled the sweater and rolled the yarn into a ball,

And started over.

She knit a brand new thing, a scarf.

“Better a scarf that can be worn than a sweater that is of no use,” she reasoned.

She soon forgot the sweater that once had been her dream,

Because the scarf was remarkably beautiful.

And even though it was not what she thought she wanted, she realized that she had something of great value,

From the same material, by the same hand,

Into something new, for something new.


a ball of yarn

“And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.” Mark 2:22

Big Shoes to Fill


I was his favorite, or maybe my sister was, or my cousin.  I loved him so much that we named our firstborn, a daughter, after him.  I would crawl up in his lap and breathe in the old spice and the clean sharp smell of a bleached white shirt.  He would always let me try out his hearing aid with its mysterious static-y background, testing it out by saying,  “Hello, Gwen-o-Spears.”  I always giggled at his play on my name and how he repeatedly called girls, little boys and boys, little girls.  I don’t know why all the grandkids thought this was so hilarious, but we did.

He did not take us on outings,  play hide and seek or read us bedtime stories.  He didn’t always listen to everything we had to say, falling asleep in his recliner in front of the TV, baseball game turned on and hearing aid off.  He rarely gave us presents.*  He never attended our sporting events, class plays or piano recitals.  I don’t know why we all adored him, but we did.

Mother told me that Papaw was a real self-made man.  He had to quit school in the 8th grade and go to work, common for children of the Great Depression.  He eventually married, raised two sons, two daughters and built a successful hardware business.  I remember his hardware store, with every tool and gadget you can imagine and an upstairs floor full of toys, an addition when the grandchildren started coming.

There are family tales about my grandfather, like the time he read about a family who lost their home in a fire the week before Christmas.  Apparently, he found the location of their temporary living quarters, loaded up his car with food, tree and toys, and delivered everything to them on Christmas eve.  There are recollections of people who wrote or came by after he passed away, letting us know about secret ways in which he had helped them through a difficult time or two.  There were store receipts of unpaid balances reduced or forgiven, evidence of his helping someone else in financial trouble.

His good works prove that he was a good man, but the grandchildren were not all that impressed with the things he did or did not do, and the grandchildren knew him best, loved him most.  It had everything to do with who he was.  He was bigger than life, kinder than anyone, loving, warm, silly, gentle, kind, comforting and comfortable.  All thirteen grandchildren, now grandparents ourselves, think of him often, pray to be like him, miss him still.


*He actually paid for Santa and gave our parents help in lean times……but we didn’t know that then.