A couple weeks ago at church we were all given an envelope which contained $5. We were told it was "God's money." Our assignment was to pray about it, think about how to multiply or add to it, and to use it in some way that would help do some good in whatever way we felt directed.
After pondering for a while, I was drawn to a program I heard about. It's called Hats for the Homeless and is a program in Minneapolis. They collect knitted and crocheted hats and distribute the hats to homeless people in the Twin Cities area. I decided I had just enough time to make a couple of hats in time for their 2010 due date.
At about that same time a former co-worker asked me if I could make a couple of pillows for her. I envisioned a quick, easy task sewing a few seams for a couple square pillows: zip zip zip... done! Sure, I told her. I asked if she would pay me $5 per pillow, and she agreed. I decided I would add that $10 sewing fee to the $5 God's money I already had, and would buy some yarn to make hats for homeless people.
It gets COLD in Minnesota, and I felt it was a worthwhile undertaking, to help keep someone's ears and head warm in our frigid winters. Appropriate for God's money, I felt.
After a couple of days I opened the bag containing the pillow-making materials, and I gasped. One pillow form was round (I'd never made a round pillow before), and both pillows had ropey-braid stuff to add (another thing I'd never done). I was instantly nervous and worried about how these pillows were going to turn out.
I was kicking myself for taking on the project. But.... I had planned ahead and already purchased the yarn and started knitting hats. So I knew I had to attempt these pillows no matter what.
This is a picture of the finished pillows. They're not perfect, but they turned out better than I anticipated. I won't tell you how many h.o.u.r.s. I spent on these pillows. Way more than $5 worth on each, but that was what I quoted, and I was the one who failed to ask any questions. So it goes.
I figure the pillows were part of my service to humanity, along with the hats that I'm in the process of making.
No one said that doing God's work or spending God's money was supposed to be easy. These pillows were not easy. And truthfully, neither are the hats (although they are much more enjoyable to me than fussing with these pillows). I think it's appropriate that I'm getting a brain and hand and patience work-out while working on God's projects. It gives me time to think more carefully about who will use these items and what thoughts I am pouring into them.
May these items keep ears and heads warm, heads and bodies rested, and bring a modicum of warmth and peace to the recipients.