If you’ve grieved, you understand grief takes different forms and time to tame. There’s no guidebook. No timer rings when grief or distress is finished. We look, and often beg, for comfort to hold us while we walk that rocky journey. Comfort not only travels uniquely to each of the grief stricken, but is received differently.
Women gather weekly in the basement of Muhlenberg Lutheran Church to design and sew comforts. Comforts look like quilts, feel like quilts, but a comfort is a comfort in how the blanket is made. Quilts are sewn and comforts are tied. The group of women can trace their roots back to the mid 1940s, when historically every scrap of everything was saved and repurposed.
Seeing need is only one part of being human. The next part is to take action. There’s meaning in knowing these women take scraps and used material and fashion them into something practical and full of love. Each COMFORT provides COMFORT. Over the years, comforts have been gifted to the Red Cross, newborn babies, and high school seniors headed to college. Today, the comforts are being placed on the beds of refugees resettling in Harrisonburg. Their forever home, safe from war and persecution and hopefully, poverty.
I'm often challenged that I can only do so much with the hours of my day. I want to do it all. I want to lead worship and paint and write music and blog and create films and all the things. I'm very much reminded by the Holy Spirit that we each have gifts to give and that we are born into a timeline where those gifts are needed. As we become more open-minded and watchful, we collide with the gifts of others to tell a more powerful story.
When I came home to edit, tweaking colors and contrast, my mind drifted back to the conversations of the morning and the smiles and the beauty of hands working solely for the comfort of others. Those beautiful, beautiful hands may look weathered and worn to your eyes, but I wept as I relived their compassion on my laptop screen. I witnessed kindness being lived out and the beauty in that room left me speechless. The hands we see on social media are manicured, soft, and decked out with jewelry. Those images aren’t wrong; they merely tell a different story.
There are so many layers in this story. Comfort, refugee resettlement, scraps, tying, gathering, blessing, repurposing. Often, when I spend time with a non-profit, I focus not so much on the individuals doing the things, but on the action, the “what's happening" in that particular moment. The VERB and not the NOUN.
My prayer is that each view on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube will be a seed of inspiration to go do. You’re in this timeline with your gifts for a reason. You were created to be so much more than a noun. Like these Comfort Makers, be a verb.