The Calling

My sewing experience started and ended in elementary school, when my mother taught me how to make pillows and tunics for my stuffed animals (all by hand, of course).  From then on, sewing held really no particular interest for me until the summer before my calling.

I had somehow come into possession of a black, hooded robe. It made me look like death, but without a scythe. I liked it for some reason.  It had a rip in it, so my older sister asked me if I wanted to borrow her tiny, almost-functional sewing machine to fix it, and I said yes. Then I immediately put the sewing machine in a filing cabinet (yes).

Cut to several months later. It is a warm, early fall day and I am walking to class at Western Washington University. Meanwhile I am meditating on a verse from the Bible: 2 Corinthians 9:6. It says that those who sow generously will also reap generously, and those who sow sparingly will also reap sparingly.  (And yes, I do understand that this is an agricultural reference being used as a metaphor that has absolutely nothing to do with a needle pulling thread.)

It was at this very moment in my life that I (all but audibly) heard the voice of God speaking directly to my heart. It said: "David, you will sew generously, and the nations will reap what you sew and have food to eat." It would be another year before I noticed that God (quite appropriately) gave me my life's calling in the form of a pun.

I immediately understood what needed to be done. After standing dumbfounded for a minute, marveling at how unexpectedly my entire world had just been transformed, I turned around on the spot and walked home.  I drove to JoAnn Fabrics and bought scissors, pins, fabric and a pattern. Until this point, I had never once used a sewing machine in my life (as my sister's had gone straight into the filing cabinet), but I was pretty sure I would be good at it.

I was not, though. Like anything God calls a person to do, there had to be a lot of human effort involved. I found myself blessed with, above all else, more patience than I ever would have known I possessed. I put maximum effort and time into my new work and research, and found a truly unexpected, deep-rooted passion for what I was doing.

I have been working for twelve years now. I have pushed myself almost daily to excessive hours and to the frayed edges of nearly infinite, divinely bestowed patience. I have obsessed myself with my calling, gaining experience as rapidly as possible to aspire to and even surpass the level of craftsmanship of those who have taught me. My training is not complete; it will never be complete.

But I have been sewing for twelve years, and the time has come for the harvest.

Welcome to Sew Generously.