Most evenings, when the work of the day is done, and I’m tired — way too tired to do anything that requires much thought or effort — I often pick up my crochet hook and some yarn and begin to pull one loop of the colored string through another … slowly but surely adding a few more rows of intertwined yarn to a hat, scarf, or blanket. These items usually go to nursing homes or thrift stores; I don’t really need them, I just like to crochet. Although I’m weary and worn, my hands still like to stay busy and it can be soothing, relaxing work at the end of the day. (Plus, it keeps my hands off the chips in the pantry!)
I will have my first child-in-law within the year. My oldest son proposed to his girlfriend this past spring and we are well on our way to a happy June wedding. Scanning over their wedding registry items, I noticed that there will be a fair amount of blue and brown in their home. Poring over the list, debating which items I might choose to buy for them, I began to think of something not on the list, but something that I decided to give to my future daughter-in-law anyway …
Remembering back to my early years of marriage, and watching the divorce rate climb higher and higher, I knew that as the mother of the groom, prayers would probably be the best gift I could give to my son and his fiancée. So, after selecting some pretty blue and brown yarn and taking my crochet hook, I began to make a small-ish blanket of love and prayer for my future daughter-in-law, one that might cover her lap nicely as she works on her netbook, or to wrap around her shoulders to chase away the sniffles during the cold months ahead.
There was so much to pray for as my fingers worked the yarn, creating the blanket. I prayed that my son and future daughter-in-law will be happy, that their wedding plans don’t become a source of frustration, that they will lean on God during the hard times and thank God for the good times. I prayed that they would avoid taking each other for granted, that they would make necessary efforts to rekindle their love, that they would be loving parents, that they would follow the will of God. I also prayed for myself, for a healthy discernment to know what’s being helpful, what’s meddling. Sometimes I just reiterated the words, “Please bless them, God, please bless them,” over and over, as my fingers rhythmically moved the strands of yarn.
Seamus and his fiancée will be getting married at a church named after St. Gregory the Great. So I asked this monk-turned-pope to please keep an eye on them, to also pray for them, to be a patron saint for their marriage, to nudge them toward goodness. They will be getting married on the memorial of an obscure blessed: Blessed Henry the Shoemaker, a gentle cobbler from France who started a confraternity to encourage a devotion to God among local shoemakers. While crafting one granny square after another, I asked Blessed Henry the Shoemaker to pray for my son and his soon-to-be wife … that they would find God in whatever work they might find themselves doing during their married years. And their guardian angels — I asked for their help too!
I hope Seamus’s fiancée likes the blanket. I’m sure she’ll at least be polite and thankfully accept it. However, even if the blanket never gets used, and gets eaten by moths in the back of her closet, I know that the prayers I have said in my heart while crafting the blanket will not disintegrate. I know they will be heard and answered; in God’s way, in God’s time. Their marriage will probably not be perfectly blissful, but I know my prayers will help. God, Saint Gregory the Great, Blessed Henry, and their Guardian Angels will have listened to me and will be there to help.