Fabric of Our Life – Stuart Segall

Isn’t this amazing….

I was captivated when I saw this. It was like a sunset, a landscape, a wondrous seascape. Yet, when I imagine what this dress is made of and the work that went into it, I understand the heart, soul, and emotions involved in the final touch of the artist/tailor/seamstress that finished it.

When you weave different fabrics together like silk or satin you get an amazing fabric. They are not durable and must be handled with care, but when that is done, you get a look of beauty and richness that is second to none. It is all about what the weaver and the tailor choose to create.

As a boy, I worked in a tailor’s shop watching the process of how clothes were made on a small level. As a young man in NYC, I traveled to textile factories in the Carolinas where they made amazing fabric that would be transformed into rich and high-end designer suits and jackets. The cut and tailoring were important, but it began with the fabric.

The weaving by huge commercial or small residential looms is an essential process in creating the final product.

In life it is easy to take for granted the very things that shape our everyday lives. The other day I noticed an intriguing pattern in a dress like this picture here. We see patterns in fabric all of the time in the clothes that each of us wear. Many times, those clothes define who we are. 

Life can be like a complicated tapestry or fabric, woven with a loom and shuttle. Like the fabric defines the dress, there is a fabric that defines our life as well.

In the early ’70s, a Paul Anka song was used by Eastman Kodak to utilize the fabric of our lives encouraging amateur photographers to take more photos. Later the song was used by the cotton industry to identify it as America’s fabric.  Here are a few of the lyrics

Take a Breath and Take Some Time To Be

So Much More, Is Hiding Underneath

Pave the Way and You’ll Find The Key Inside

Freeze The Frame, See Where You Want To Be

Imagine All Your Dreams and Plant The Seed

And Close Your Eyes

The Touch The Feel

The Fabric Of Our Lives”

The entire textile industry is based on the conversion of fiber into yarn, yarn into dyed or printed fabric, and then fabric into clothes. It is the most basic of principles, and yet the process can become quite complicated. Whether done small scale at home or in a factory, the weaving process uses a loom, a device that intertwines long threads.

A device called a shuttle carries the yarn, as the fibers are twisted into threads used in weaving or knitting. Weaving is the oldest method of making yarn into fabric.

Genetics, the surrounds we grew up in, childhood experiences we had with our parents, teachers, playmates, all of life’s disabilities – all of these things are on the side of the loom and they pass through the shuttle to you. The question is how do you respond to it?  Your life is laid out like threads on a loom and your choices and the outcomes that come as a result.

When this has all taken place, remember then that it is you… YOU PASS THE SHUTTLE BACK THROUGH THE LOOM! And this action together with your responses weaves the pattern and design into the tapestry of your life.

I don’t deny you may have been a victim. I don’t fully know what happened to you as you don’t know my life events. True enough! I am just reminding you that you and I have a response or a reaction. We learned over time to hate, resent, be prejudiced, hide, hold back, release tempers…or escape into an unreal world.

Today, you have a responsibility. You are responsible for your actions. You will never receive healing for your damaged emotions until you stop blaming everyone else and accept responsibility.

Jesus in the narrative of John 5:5-7, asks the question “Do you really want to be healed, or do you want to just constantly talk about the problem?” in my words. Do you want to use your problem as a means to get attention and sympathy from others?

Only Jesus could look in the heart, as He did when you read verse 7, to know the answer to the question.  We live in an age where many people, if not most people, want to blame someone else instead of facing their own responsibilities.

As followers, one of our responsibilities is understand this so we can be more effective gracious servants.  I am on this road be it ever so slowly, and hope to see you there too, encouraging one another.

Stuart Segall lives about an hour north of Seattle.  He has spent most of his adult life counseling, encouraging, inspiring and uplifting others.

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