Crafting is a hallmark of Maggie’s Place living. Here’s a small taste of some crafting I have done in case you don’t believe me:
Whether you’re into it or not, it is certainly a part of the culture of the homes. Every role of the community presents an opportunity for making crafts. Our moms can get crafty out of love for others in the home, to bond with their children and as a healthy coping skill. Our volunteers can help with crafts by teaching the community how to make use of yarn through knitting or crocheting. We use crafts in order to make the home a welcoming environment for new members of the community or to celebrate births and birthdays in the homes as well. For MissionCorps it can be what you do during your duty shift; how you spend time with the moms on Community Night; an economical and heartfelt way to make presents; or something you pursue leisurely outside of work.
I have been fortunate to see this play out at The Michael House, and how crafting, while often lighthearted and fun, brings about positivity in our community in a meaningful way.
Our moms love the signs that welcome them and their babies back from the hospital. I have really appreciated getting a homemade bookmark and both receiving and giving compliments to moms during one of our Monday night activities. There is something to be said about the sweetness of cutting a heart from a piece of paper, when it means that a mother is spending time with her daughter.
Whether it is a small undertaking or something that requires a great deal of effort, what is at the heart is the desire to make something for someone else. The gift is not in the execution, but the thought and expression. We should not be looking for perfection. It’s exhausting and we can’t do it.
Imperfections are bound to happen along the way, and although they do, they are not grounds for discontinuing. Steadfastness can be rewarded by the sense of completion and fulfillment at the end of the road. In fact, the imperfections can mirror those that stem from being human. Also, they can give us pause to reflect on what is important about the process, which is being able to leave a part of one’s self with another. As I discussed with a volunteer earlier today, it lets someone know that you are thinking of them. It is always comforting to be in someone’s thoughts since it reminds us we are cared for and loved.
The time, attention to detail, and desire are examples of loving kindness that add beauty to someone’s life in ways great and small. This element of crafting and purposefully creating for others points to our identity as children of God. What we decide to do creatively can make us more Christ-like. What we make cannot even hold a candle to creating at God’s level, but with our will we can choose to create rather than destroy. God loves us, and He can show us that on His own and in the actions of others. We each have gifts and are meant to cultivate them for the greater good, in order to show love to our brothers and sisters. Our gifts (even if they do not involve yarn, construction paper, paint or charcoal) are what we can use to add to the beauty of the world, and fill the void in our hearts and those of others.
By Jasmine Young, a MissionCorps member