The Everything Quilt
Many of you have probably heard of the “everything bagel.” While they may vary from bakery to bakery, these favorites combine together many toppings which originally were found individually on bagels. Poppy seeds, onion flakes, garlic, salt, etc. The general idea is that someone at some point in time decided that rather than throwing out the leftovers of each spice, they could be combined and used together.
I experienced this kind of “leftover” event in 2013, when I moved into my own office at the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary where I work. At the same time, I was also moving into a new home, my father-in-law was downsizing, and a seminary student was relocating across the country. These moves left me with two pictures that no longer matched my new home, a floral print chair from my father-in-law, and a quirky lamp from the student which just happened to match the pictures and the chair. Needing something to pull it all together, I decided it was time to make a new quilt - an everything quilt!
What is an everything quilt? For me, this quilt would not only bring all the colors together in my office, it would serve as an object lesson – for me and for the women that I counsel there. I went to visit my mother, who has quite a stash of fabric accumulated over decades of quilting. I arrived and announced that I needed her leftovers of purple and green fabric for my new project. She pulled out what she had, of course reminding me that I could always buy additional fabric. But this was not what I had in mind. I had no desire to seek for anything beyond what she had to offer. I knew she would have everything I needed to create something beautiful.
And so, I dug around through the bins and planned out the project. I found a piece that I just loved, but she had only one small scrap. No problem! I could work with that. It now serves as the center square for the entire quilt. I just love the finished product, not simply for its beauty but for how it reminds me of 2 Peter 1:2-8:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
What has his divine power granted to us? Just some things? No, all things that pertain to life and godliness. Everything!
Matthew Henry has said about this passage, “All things that have any relation to and influence upon, the true spiritual life, the life and power of godliness, are from Jesus Christ.”
And so, day after day, I look at the wall in my office. Just as my mother provided all that I needed for my everything quilt, l remember that our heavenly Father has given to us everything that we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him. This is a wonderful reminder to reflect upon his precious and very great promises and to pray for a fruitful day ahead!