Hope at the End of a Rope

December 11, 2009 | 24 comments

She wanted to repay the favor by giving someone the comfort of resting in the embrace of stitched love. Lydia knows how it feels to wrap oneself in prayer. She knows the warmth of pulling a handmade prayer shawl over shoulders, and running for cover in the shelter of a Great Big God.

“Mommy, did you know it took Michelle 10 hours to make me that prayer shawl?” she asked me last week.

Yes, Lydia, I know.

“And did you know that she prayed for me the whoooole time she made it?”

Yes, Lydia. She prayed for Mommy, and Daddy, and for Anna, and your school, and your health … even for you to sleep well.


Yes, Lydia.

“I want to make one for Michelle, too, for her Christmas present.”

This is what happens when we are bathed in grace. God’s Spirit stirs within, ignites a fire, and we want to pass the flame because Giving is contagious. And so it goes — one to another to another in a Grace Passing.

With Spirit stirring in her, Lydia began a Grace Work. Like her mother, Lydia can’t work the needles, so she uses her fingers. This will be a work of her hands: a finger-weaving.

Lydia found the last skein of yarn in the house and looped a purple end around her thumb.

For the LORD your God will bless you …
in all the work of your hands,
and your joy will be complete.
— Deuteronomy 16:15

She began a quiet work with busy hands, calling on the LORD as a yarn-rope grew and grew and grew.

What are you praying? I asked. But she shooshed me — silent in the task of weaving thread in and out of fingers, the task of weaving silent heart-words into fibers.

A half-hour had passed. Still she was weaving, and this rope of patterned-purple had reached the floor.

“Mommy,” she said. “I’ve run out of ideas to pray.” She had prayed for Michelle’s family, marriage and health. She had prayed for the upcoming wedding of Michelle and Rob’s daughter, Becca. She’d prayed for Rob’s eyesight.

And because it seemed like the thing to do, Lydia asked God to help Michelle sleep at night.

“And, Mommy,”she added, “I also prayed that they would always know that God is with them.”

She tied a knot in the end of a rope, and folded it up for a Christmastime Grace Passing.


And as I look at those photos today — and as I study the work of wee hands — I ask myself: Isn’t this what we all need? Don’t we all need a rope to hang onto when we’re at the end of our own?

We need the assurance of a rope, a lifeline, woven by a Person. And this God, the One who wove me on His loom in the secret place, He is the one holding the rope to which I cling daily.

“God is gracious—
it is he who makes things right,
our most compassionate God.
God takes the side of the helpless;
when I was at the end of my rope,
he saved me.”
— Psalm 116:1 (The Message)

by | December 11, 2009 | 24 comments


  1. Glynn

    A beautiful story, Jennifer. Our children (boys, so we weren't into weaving much) are grown — but God taught us so much through them. In fact, He still does. Thanks for this.

  2. Karen

    What a precious gift from you daughter…for her friend, for you, and for us….

  3. jasonS

    I can't tell you how much I love that story and the entire idea behind it. This might be something my wife and daughter would like to do. I'll have to pass it along…

  4. Doug Spurling

    " — silent in the task of weaving thread in and out of fingers, the task of weaving silent heart-words into fibers."

    Her silent prayers echo from heaven to intended friends across harvested fields… and even to those to whom not intended, like me.

    What a blessing – an amazing grace filled blessing, thank you.

  5. A Simple Country Girl

    This, this feeling in my heart. Thank you for it. You are my Day 4 because of how God uses your words to ignite me.


  6. Rose

    Jennifer, that is so lovely. How precious to see a child, pondering, creating and praying for someone else. You blessed my heart with this story. Thank you!

  7. Freddae'

    This was simply beautiful and encouraging and an amazing blessing. Thank you for sharing this. No wonder our Lord cherished children the way he did. They are angels among us.

  8. Runner Mom

    Oh, Jennifer…how I love this! Your children are just precious…filled with the Spirit like their mom. Thank you for sharing this.


  9. Deborah Ann

    I don't think there is any other gift in the world that could outdo this one. Lucky recipient! And blessed Mom with a daughter that loves just like her Father.

    Sweet Blessings!

  10. elizabeth

    Sweet, sweet, sweet.

  11. Amber

    oh my goodness. so sweet. you are such a good mother!!!

  12. Wylie

    This made me tear up! Beautiful! I love that she prayed for sleep. We all need that prayer as the enemy works anxiety into our lives to rob us of rest. Great prayer!

  13. Jennifer

    Your story shows a beautiful, caring heart. Your daughter is a gift not just to you, but to all of us who get to hear stories of her love for God and for others.

  14. Rosario

    You just gave an idea for a christmas gift. My sister and I started a new tradition to make homemade gifts for each other instead of buying gifts. I had already started on my gifts, I wanted to make small figurines of mary and joseph out of felt. I was having a hard time making them,and I was ready to give up. I think the prayer shawls will be a much better gift for them.

  15. Beth E.

    What a sweet spirit your daughter has! Your touching story brought tears to my eyes. I know your friend, Lydia, will love her gift!

    I have never seen finger weaving before…very creative!

  16. Kay

    How very precious. What a special daughter you must have. I am so impressed that her little heart would be so tender and so willing to sit and pray for another that long. What a blessing!

  17. Laura

    What a girl you have, Jennifer. What a heart. Giving is more fun, no? Teaching that…a beautiful gift.

  18. PJ

    Hi Jennifer! I have read through several of your posts and love them all. This post about the little girl with the Prayer shawl was awesome. I've vaguely heard of them, but never really knew what they were about. In my faith, we send prayer for healing, but no other items. That is really neat. Thank you for stopping by and reading my blog. I'm so glad you liked my 12 Days of Christmas. My sister sent me that. I never thought of that song being any different than White Christmas or Santa coming to town, that is until now.

    Thanks again!


  19. Holley Gerth

    Beautiful–your daughter's heart reflects her earthly Mom's and Heavenly Father's! I just added this to the Weekly Links section of my blog (Heart to Heart with Holley).

  20. Shirley

    How tender and precious is this!!! We shall be led by a child…

  21. KEE

    That is so beautiful Jennifer. You have to be so proud of her,but it is you who taught her about God, giving and HIS grace.
    I love this ideal of a prayer shawl. I want to learn to knit so I can give them as gifts and make one for myself also.
    Please pray for my hands,because of all of my the complications, my hands don't always work but I know God can fix them if only while I'm making the shawls.

    I may email u for more info.

  22. Alleluiabelle

    My Precious Friend,

    I come by to read a lot not always leaving comments…but this is so precious…a child's heart filled with so much love, so much prayer, so much love for the Lord…and what an amazing mom she has in you. A fine example to lead her children…what a wonderful friend to make her a prayer shawl praying the whole time for her. I absolutely love it. If I knew how to knit, I would be in the business of making my friends prayer shawls. It would be wonderful to wrap up in something so warm and cozy made by the precious fingers of a friend…a praying friend and getting lost in the presence of our Lord. Gives me goose bumps (loving goose bumps) just thinking about it.

    Merry Christmas Jennifer and may God abundantly bless you and your family.

    Love & Hugs,

  23. Melissa

    This is beautiful and thank you for sharing it. I jumped over here from Holley's blog to check out her "note to self".

    My daughter has been asking me over and over again what she can make this Christmas for everyone and I feel this is perfect for her. She loves to finger weave and has a very prayerful heart for others. Thanks again, Melissa

  24. Rosario

    I remember your post yesterday when shopping at Michaels. I saw a book about the Prayer Shawl ministry. I started on my prayer shawl this morning. Thank you for sharing your post with us. You have blessed me, now is my turn to bless someone else.


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