The Family You Choose

“Shawls … made for centuries universal and embracing,

symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving, God.

They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace,

mother, hug, shelter and beautify.

Those who have received these shawls have been

uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to

fly above their troubles…”

Written in 1998 by: Janet Severi Bristow

Do you have that person in your life that just always seems to know when you need them? Earlier this month I received the text, “What are her favorite colors?” completely out of the blue. “Definitely teal, pink, blue, white,” I reply, perplexed. “Okay, I’m knitting and should be done this weekend.”

The text comes from my friend and former neighbor. She is a motherly figure to my family and always seems to know when the time is just right to bless us with her kindness. As I read her text, I transport to another time. It is seven years ago, I have three babies under my wing, and a fresh cancer diagnosis on my mind. Out of nowhere, a beautiful shawl appears. It is royal purple and deep magenta intermingled with aqua, yellow, orange. It is a masterpiece. The delicate texture of the yarn, tied with tiny jewels on the ends wraps me in reassurance, even all of these years later.

Fast forward to today. When the magnificent cloak arrived for my child, we had just endured a hateful attack by people who are supposed to love us unconditionally. In short, the days were hard and our child, just ten years old, was dealing with situations beyond their years. An empath, they knew the vile attacks levied by our own blood, even if they were not the direct recipient. When I wrap my child in the loving embrace of that shawl, I am reminded that our chosen family is powerful, kind, loving, and accepts us for who we are, unconditionally.

For information on knitting prayer shawls visit: https://www.shawlministry.com/

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