I had not heard the term prayer shawls until recently. I was in church, and the woman who is in charge of this ministry stepped up, laid out the shawls members had made, and our pastor blessed them. Whoa! I was hooked.
A prayer shawl is something that, while you’re making it, you pray for the person you intend to give it to. You can knit or crochet it. There are many different patterns—some are a triangle and some are a rectangle. I’m a beginner at both crocheting and knitting, so I need to pick easy patterns.
Recently I made this prayer shawl. I found the free pattern here. I had never followed a pattern before, but this was very easy.
There was one catch, though. I didn’t know who I was making it for. In my upcoming book, A Wedding for Julia, I describe the teal and purple yarn. (It’s called Sweet Teal by Baby Bee.) I knew I wanted to make it and then give it away when this book comes out. But who will win? Who am I crocheting for? And how can I pray for her? Then it occurred to me that I might not know who the person is, but God already knows. So each evening as I worked on the shawl, I prayed for this person.
There are many things that we can do to encourage and lift up one another. My sister makes baby quilts. She stacks them in the closet, and whenever someone at her work has a baby, she gives it away. It’s her ministry. One of the things we enjoy about Amish fiction is the way members of the community minister to one another. I think we all have a way to reach out to others, a way to share God’s grace. The fun part is finding out how you’d like to do that.