Holy Days at the Apple Pi Inn: A Stitch in Time


June is unraveling as I look for the places in this old structure where repair is not an option but the question of survival. Foundation? Wiring? Siding? What can last another season? What needs saving now? I study the old quilts folded in drawers and envy those who could bind pieces of life together with a needle and thread. A stitch in time saves nine, but which “stitch” is the saving one?

Best to turn my attention to those who know about piecing life together. I visit Reberta and Lois, mother and daughter, retired teachers and artists of cloth. They hosted two of my students this summer and shared sharp wit and needle wisdom that they inherited from their mother’s mother’s hands.

Here is a tie that binds time together. Here a construction of the gospel that wears well over time.

The Quilters

Blessed be the tie that binds:
the heart
the kindred mind
the joy
the inward pain
the hope
to meet again.

They are were always:

frontier followers
pioneers in Jesus
quilters of the call.

They gather

night and noon
scraps of shadows
snippets of light.

They gossip for God
stitch story skin
quilt with gutstring
unravel the tangles of shame.

They trace the grace
newly born
freshly wed
children’s children
treasured dead.

They bear but thimbles.
They wear their needles bare.

Quilters of the Call
the four-square gospel,

truth in time.

Copyright Heather Murray Elkins, 1985, Revised 2016. All rights reserved.