QUILT SQUARES
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           As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before
        the Lord along with all the other souls. Before each of us
        laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles.

     An Angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares
        together into a tapestry that was our life. But as my Angel
        took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged
        and empty each of my squares was.

           They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled
 with a part of my life that had been difficult,
the challenges and temptations I was faced with in
everyday life.

        I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest
holes of all. I glanced around me.
           Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here
        and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color
        and the bright hues of worldly fortune.

 I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My
Angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together,
threadbare and empty, like binding air.
Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed,
held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth.

 The others rose, each in turn, holding up their
        tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My Angel
looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.

           My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn't had all
        the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter.
        But there had also been trials of illness, and death, and
        false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it.

I had to start over many times, often struggled with the
 temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength
to pick up and begin again.
I spent many nights on my knees in prayer,
asking for help and guidance. In my life, I had often
        been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully,
each time offering it up to
the Father
in hopes that I would not melt within my
skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who
        unfairly judged me.

           And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was
        and I had to accept it.
I rose and slowly lifted the combined
        squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled
        the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with
        wide eyes. Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me.

           Light flooded through the many holes, creating an image,
        the face of Christ.
           Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love
in His eyes.

           He said, "Every time you gave over your life to Me, it
        became My life, My hardships, and My struggles.
Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside
and let Me shine through,
until there was more of Me than there was of you.

Does not John the Baptist say "He must increase, I must      
    decrease"... John  3:30 !

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