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Long, long ago there lived a young mother who was just learning to knit.  She could purl and knit and she was trying her hand at her first fitted garment – a pair of gloves.

Suffice it to say, that young mother way me.  But the story doesn’t have a fairy tale ending.  I had just finished the second glove.  It was time to cut the yarn and weave in the end  But I couldn’t bring myself to make that cut.  Something just wasn’t right.

I laid both gloves out on the table.  Something was wrong but I couldn’t see it.  They looked just alike.

What?  Just alike?

Not mirror images?!

Oh, no.

I hadn’t knitted a left glove and a right glove but two right gloves.  Since I didn’t want to pairs of identical gloves, and wasn’t sure I had enough yarn anyway, that left only one solution.  Ribbet.

Ha.  That’s a sad little knitting joke.  When you have to rip about your knitting, or unravel it, you call it frogging.  So I got myself a cup of coffee and started tugging on that yarn.  Row after row of stitches unraveled.

My husband and several friends confessed that they couldn’t have made themselves do this.  “All that time.”

Pfft.  If you knit, you frog.  It doesn’t matter how complicated the pattern or how much time it took.  Small mistakes can often be corrected without frogging but the big ones?  Let her rip!

I’ve love to say that this was the last mistake I ever made but it wouldn’t be true.  All I can do is pray that I’ll have the grace to let each one go as I discover it, even if it was hours and hours in the making.


The reality is that we are all going to make mistakes.  It is what human beings do.

Can you think of any other better way to do it?  In kindness acting in His Name and with His Love?


Boy oh boy, are we in trouble. A 22-year-old Russian man is on trial for playing Pokemon Go in church. A politician in Indonesia is being charged with blasphemy against Islam. Stephen Fry, noted British comedian, is being investigated in Ireland for scathing remarks he made on a talk show, about God — if He exists — being something of a sadist.

I could make more or less well-constructed arguments in each of these cases. No, you shouldn’t play games in church, but if we sentenced every kid who didn’t pay attention during Mass, we’d have very few children left to fill the pews. God is infinitely compassionate, but the British tend to be a bit suspect on such matters, what with having endured hundreds of years of religious-based harassment and executions. And though I don’t always understand Islam, maybe some people just need to settle down a bit. In fact, maybe we all should.

I’m no fan of blasphemy. It riles me up when people make suppositions about God based on limited human experience. But then again, I do this, too. We all do. The thing we so often forget is that God can take it. God’s no hothouse flower, withering away at the scald of an unkind Tweet. God is bigger than we are. We take offense at slights against ourselves and against God. God does not.

In fact, God loves us even at our worst. Especially at our worst. God loves dopey people who do dopey things when they ought to be praying. God loves Islam, even when those who practice its tenets make God into a tyrant. And God loves anyone who makes others laugh — laughter being one of God’s most wondrous inventions.

So lay off, folks. The one thing you can say without a doubt about our species is that we make mistakes. We are error-ridden, clumsy, maladroit, blabber-mouthed idiots on a near-constant basis. And that’s okay, because God made us that way. Out of a pile of dirt and hubris, male and female, we were formed. We make mistakes, but hopefully, we learn from them. We see God only in glimpses, but if we make an effort, those glimpses can be glorious. And we constantly discount God’s capacity — for goodness, for miracles, for compassion and love. We really shouldn’t do that.

But it’s okay. God’s got tough skin. We’d do well to remember that.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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