“Seeking face of God in everything, everyone, everywhere, all the time, and seeing His hand in every happening – that is contemplation in the heart of the world.” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta
It seems we can’t get through a week without hearing on the news about a horrible tragedy, a catastrophic weather event. or an unimaginable act of
evil inflicting pain and suffering on innocent lives. I’ve heard people ask, “Where is God in this?” or “How could God let this happen?” At times of deep personal loss, I have asked those questions myself.
I now have come to realize, especially when reflecting on our world’s long history, tragedy,
catastrophes, and evil have been here since the beginning of human existence. This is the downside of the precious gift of being both a spiritual and a biological life — we are vulnerable. We are at the mercy of others’ mistakes and subject to flukes of nature. We are at risk of being hurt by those who lack a moral compass. We are constantly reminded of how little we can control. On any given day, we could be a victim of pain, suffering or loss. There is not one of us who is immune from hardships.
Graciously, there is an upside! We are also vulnerable to great joy! We value joy so much more because we know suffering. Try to imagine how you would gauge happiness if you never experienced sadness. How special would it be to win a game if you never lost one? Would it be just as wonderful to attain a college degree, win an award or finish a marathon if everyone everywhere achieved those same goals every day. If failing grades were never given, would an “A-plus” mean anything special?
I am not saying we should welcome suffering or accept evil. We should do all we can to
shelter ourselves and others from needless pain. I am just sharing how I believe we should not see God in the negative aspects of life but rather in the positive ones. God is in the “upside” of life.
When I read Mother Teresa’s words for the first time a little over a year ago, my thoughts went immediately to the heroes I have seen run to help others in times of crisis. I thought about the firemen who entered burning buildings to save lives. I thought about the teachers who shielded their students from gun fire. I thought about the doctors who, at a moment’s notice, pour all of their experience and knowledge into restoring a heartbeat. I thought about the thousands of soldiers marching toward danger to fight for our freedom. I thought about countless others, day after day, who run to the aid of victims of evil and tragedy without regard for the dangerous risk they will face. I see God’s hand in these tragic happenings because he sends his angels — they are our American Heroes!
Mother Teresa’s words inspired my thoughts which inspired this quilt, “Contemplation.” The center block is representative of God’s light in America, because at the very core of America’s founding are God’s words. The appliqued pictures surrounding the center depict events which most prominently stood out in my mind in recent years – Twin Towers, Aurora Movie Theater, hurricanes, Sandy Hook School, tornadoes, Boston Marathon, tsunamis, Virginia Tech and other schools. The four angel
blocks are there to remind us in times of peril, God will send His angels. Around the blocks I named the angels who run to do God’s work. The outer border colors, and also interspersed within the quilt, represents America — red, white and blue. I am a proud American because God shows me everyday just how special it is to be here!
This quilt is my way to honor the heroes of America. I am in awe of all of you. I honor your strength of character and your courageous heart. I thank you and I pray for all of you. May God bless you and keep you in His loving embrace.