The innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care...
~ William Shakespeare from Macbeth
I once dreamt that I was in God’s throne room. It was evening and many people were dancing and having fun in the open area in front of the dais. I sat on the outer edge of the dance floor up a slight rise and took as much enjoyment in watching the people as they did, dancing. I was content to be there and sat knitting a pair of socks to the rhythm of the music.
Jesus walked towards me and asked if He could sit next to me. I immediately said, “Yes” and scooted over to make room for Him. He sat down and then He did something that surprised me. From a fold in His robe, He took out a ball of yarn and some needles and started knitting with me to the rhythm of the music.
We knit together, watching the dancers and I felt a deep companionable joy. I stole a few glances at his yarn and needles and couldn’t quite figure out what He was knitting. Inevitably, I asked the question that knitters have been asking each other since the beginning of yarn.
“What are you knitting?” Would it be a pair of socks like I was working on? A chemo cap for a cancer patient? Or even a prayer shawl?
Jesus didn’t answer me in words; He held up His knitting and showed it to me. The knitting wasn’t any specific garment that I could recognize. I studied it curiously and then all at once I realized that I was sitting with the Master Knitter of all Master Knitters. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but it hadn’t occurred to me before that Jesus knew how to knit.
As I sat there with a simple project of hand knit socks, He was knitting people, situations and life. And of course He was good at it because after all He invented the art of knitting. He created sheep, alpaca, goats, angora bunnies and all fiber bearing animals. He created cotton plants, hemp, flax and all fiber bearing plants. And if that wasn’t enough, He owned the sheep on a thousand hills, never mind the cattle.
I began to understand that Jesus knits better than anyone else could ever comprehend. His knitting was beyond yarn and needles, our method was a mere shadow reflecting His art. He knit together the universe, the earth and the people. His fiber is everything and everywhere including our souls and lives. Whatever He works and knits together in His hands will not need to be ripped out. He is the Master Knitter of Master Knitters.
He put His project in His lap and then held out His hand to see what I was knitting. My pair of socks now felt like a childish scribble but I held them out to Him anyway. He smiled and admired the work that I had done, mistakes and all. I could never come close to His skill, but I could do my best with the abilities that I had been given.
When I awoke, the dream was still strong upon me. I felt an acute sense of connection to other knitters, present and past. After all, I had been sitting next to the Master Knitter who showed me how ancient His craft was.
That day when I picked up my needles and worked on my socks, my knitting felt a little more sacred in my hands. As the yarn slipped through my fingers, I felt as if Jesus were still there, knitting with me. I was inspired to knit something that would have meaning and connect with others. I could pray for the person for whom I was knitting. I could make something to give to someone in need. I could teach others the craft as many knitters have done before me. Knitting could become a form of ministry whether the recipients knew it or not. I would no longer be merely knitting an item. Instead, I would be knitting comfort, love and care.
A few years have passed since I knit with the Master. But I still think often of Him sitting in His throne room, knitting. Perhaps He is sitting there, knitting by Himself. But I believe that He often goes out to sit with other knitters, as He did with me. He doesn’t join others in their knitting to show off how great a knitter He is and how much worse their knitting is in comparison. There wasn’t a feeling of inadequacy when sitting with the Master Knitter. Instead there was a feeling of companionship in a joint venture. He joins with us so that we can experience fellowship with Him.