As a little girl one of my favorite things to do was to make potholders on a little loom. I loved pulling the small loops of many colors tightly across and the challenge to get them to stay in place. The beauty was created as I wove other loops over, under, and across. The loose threads and tense threads woven together created a unique item that had meaning and purpose.
As an adult, my grandmother fell down the stairs and as a result had brain damage. She was unable to continue with the activities she loved and was very bored. I remembered the little loom and gave her one. She made hundreds of potholders over the course of the next few years. Her little crooked fingers could barely stretch those loops across, but she stayed with the difficulty knowing that beauty would come in her little creation, and it had purpose. It wasn’t easy for her but certainly meaningful.
Making those potholders gave Sweet Granny and I each a purpose at a point in life when we needed it. They allowed us to cope during chapters of our life stories.
Now, these little looms are symbols for me of what it is to be a Chaplain. I think of Chaplains as the looms. The threads stretched across and held in tension are the warp threads. The woven pieces are the weft threads.
Something happens in life that causes tension, whether it be sickness, change of condition, death, grief, or many other things. The warp threads represent these difficult experiences.
In any situation, people have who they are in order to cope through these experiences and emotions. The weft threads represent those emotions, copings skills, and beliefs.
As Chaplains, we are the looms standing with others and holding those warp threads of tension. We do this in offering support and creating a safe place for them to pull out their weft threads of emotion, beliefs, and coping. As someone grieves, as someone celebrates, perhaps even experiences many emotions at the same time, a chaplain meets them in the midst of it all. We don’t weave the weft threads for them, but we normalize and validate their emotions. Chaplains listen, offer compassion, offer empathy, and sometimes the best words a chaplain offers are no words at all. Whatever the situation, we are there and we care. We often receive the greateast feedback from simply practicing the ministry of presence, which isn’t simple to the receipient at all. Through it all hopefully they find their way of weaving their experiences together while creating their own personal meaning from the situation, and carrying it in their hearts forever.
Kim D Crawford 3.27.15; 2017; 2021
Reblogged this on Unveiled & Untangled.
Every time I have read this, I am so thankful to God he has been working through you