What Looms In Between? ~ Strengthening the Warp of Life

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:17 NIV).

I’m a writer, but sometimes late at night, I’m also a weaver. I love this art form because it connects me to something ancient. For millennia, women have established their threads and woven a pattern while waving away toddlers who threaten to unravel their work. We weave to provide for our people, to give to others, and for the sheer pleasure of the beauty born of texture and time.

Before I begin, I must establish the in-between strings to create what’s called the warp. Simple, white yarn is pulled back and forth over a wooden, rectangular frame producing a stringy canvas full of gaps. The yarn catches a peg at every loop and vibrates like a quiet guitar string. These threads are rarely noticed, much less admired. Creating the warp is tedious and uninspiring work. The warp must be strong to endure high tension during the weaving process, unlike the colorful loops and lines that carry almost no weight at all.

Sometimes when I weave, I’m compelled to write. My mind is clear, and I more easily find the threads of life that connect and help make sense of it all. Last night after establishing my warp, I laid down my loom, picked up my laptop, and began to write:

I’m finding that most of life is lived on the warp — on the in-between threads that no one sees. But these are the moments that a life is crafted upon. The in-between loads of laundry, the morning routines, the conversations over sticky tables; these are the times when words of life are spoken into the hearts we love, when memories are made, when inner voices are established. And so often these in-betweens are the things we rush through.

We want the colorful threads — the ones that pop and are on display for others to see. We want to go out with our friends and paint the town red. We want a white Christmas. We want the perfect family portraits during golden hour. We want the green light on that project we’ve been praying about. To be honest, we just want the whole color wheel.

But it’s the in-between — the muted and mundane moments — that truly carry us through life. As we put up the dishes again, rewash the laundry that stayed in the washer too long, attend one more meeting that could have been an email, or do any of the things we find mind-numbing or inconsequential, we are actually establishing the strong threads which support all of the other moments we find so dear. As the day wears on and tension increases, life’s warp is being established—where our faith is tested and worked out.  When we round the corner, we’re prepared for the pull of tomorrow.

Don’t underestimate the warp. Don’t rush it, either. There is beauty in its simplicity and necessity in its strength. A well-done warp invites inspiration and beauty. It begs potential and eventually contains all the colors and textures life has to offer. And at the end, the strings are loosened and clipped, the warp is tested, and if the tapestry holds, you will have a work of art.

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