She would start with nothing but a pattern and a cut of fabric. Her fingers would measure and cut and pin. The pedal on the machine would click as her foot pressed and released it making the needle pull the delicate string. Her old olive green office chair would creak and moan as she readjusted her posture after hours of sitting in it.
The fabric, that began, as nothing would soon be a treasured creation of hers to be worn by me on Easter Sunday morning.
Occasionally, I would hear the seam puller rip through stitches knowing she wasn’t pleased with a seam. It had to be perfect, so she would rip and sew until perfection was reached.
Her hands would tug and pull and sew and pin the fabric, and the machine would hum and click until, finally, my Easter Sunday dress was just the way she envisioned.
I would model it and twist and twirl fancying in my Easter best. I loved my dress. But more than the dress, I loved the dressmaker.
The ripping and cutting and piecing together were time consuming and took patience, and she had it…lots of it.
Even when I complained that I was tired of trying on the dress for alterations and hem length measurement, she was diligent in her persistence, so that I would have the perfect dress.
The process of any creation is often painful. The mending and pulling and ripping away what isn’t useful is hard, but it is necessary in order to create perfection.
As sinners, our fabric is stained and frayed, and unable to hold a straight stitch. We struggle with straight lines and perfect hems. We pull the thread of sin, winding it deep within our core.
God is constantly altering our seams. He tugs and pulls the fragments of our imperfect pieces. His fingers are deliberate as He rips the sins we have sewn into the fabric of our lives. He is the seamstress, and we are His fabric…His creation.
The perfection process is painful, because He exposes the crookedness of our sin and the zigzag patterns of our thread.
We get tired of the process of this sewing and mending and pulling. But He keeps on until we give in to His hands…the hands that ultimately create what is perfect and without flaws.
And I want what He is sewing: A one-piece creation that is woven in Him. In Christ, we are never frayed or torn. All pieces are made whole and new. In Him, we become the perfect Easter dress.
My step-mother taught me through those Easter dresses about yearning for what is good and righteous...about being patient with the process of perfection. And how sometimes, exposing the ugly seams is painful, but ultimately pulling and tugging at the misshapen fabric that is made from our sin is what brings the glory that He has for us.
While I am pricked with needle sticks, and my fabric is still frayed, I yearn for His perfect seams and will keep allowing the process of His perfecting the imperfect, so that I will eventually become the perfect Easter dress.
“...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6