I’m having trouble starting this post. I hope you are well. It’s been such a strange Spring. We are well, although our season was hard. Hard. Hard. We’ve made it back to solid ground now. Standing on solid surfaces holding hands with each other now and Jesus. Maybe someday I’ll say here why this season was so difficult. Maybe not.
I haven’t been reading a lot at all. I did listen to The Waiting, It stirred a lot of surprising emotions and made me think deeper about my kids birth moms which is a good thing I think. I picked up Father Brown off my shelf but haven’t read more than a few pages. I seem to be in a bit of a reading rut but now that school is officially out for all the kids (as of Friday) maybe I’ll add a “reading hour” to our daily routine and join them. I’m knitting the Be Brave Wrap and have cast on Rye Light socks. I’’m going to link this post to Ginny’s May Yarnalong, I know— it’s a miracle.
We are so near Summer that I can almost feel the heat. Soon we will all start our mornings outside and stay as long as we can stand it before retreating to the cool indoors for the remainder of the day. I’ll flip my own routine on its head soon to make room for this change. No more yoga alone in my closet first thing rather it will be how I end my days. I am starting to crave cold chicken salad sandwiches and all sorts of salads for dinners. This is a sure sign of Summers coming.
I’ve been thinking about how we’ll shape our days here. We all need routine to feel some safety, some calm. Something solid to soothe our wondering. But this year is not like any other year. I can’t see us coming out into crowds in the near future. I’m still content to go out for groceries on my own or even better asking hubby to bring them after work. We are staying in on purpose, I’m thankful that we can and mindful that not everyone can.
I am everyday acutely aware of a few groups of people far away who cannot just go out in the near empty streets to play before returning to the cool comfort of large rooms. Of elderly men and women who work all through the day in whatever season it is. They push large stacks of cardboard that they collect in the streets of their city. It is their occupation. It is the way they make very little money that they will try to live on in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
When they are able to return home it is often to tiny and uncomfortable spaces (cage homes) stuffed with all of their belonging. Sometimes they never get to leave the elements. Never get to get in out of the heat or cold. Never get to leave the wind or the rain completely. Some (and more than you might think) will tuck themselves behind or beneath stacks of their bags and belonging tucked under bridges or corners outside. No matter how harsh the weather.
All of this is hard. All of their circumstances adding up to a terribly hard way of life. Some have been known to sleep at tables where families gather to happily eat their French fries in the daytime hours. Although I am not sure those dining rooms are open for those nights of restless sleep these days. This faithful group serves these elderly poor (and many others in Asia) everyday.
I am also thinking of children who’ve moved into the same city with their families. Moved from other countries into the full to overflowing city that is Hong Kong. These children have their own first language but in school, and to be able to do school, they learn Chinese and English all at the same time. Their lessons are hard. The places they live are often full and are always small. But it is a blessing that there is an indoors to go to.
My friend and his family serve these children, and others. They offer tutoring after school, even during breaks when other kids get a respite from schoolwork. They offer kid’s clubs of all sorts, neighbor ministries and vacation Bible schools along with the near daily tutoring. They offer care, support, resources and prayers to these children and their families and in this season masks, gloves and sanitizer when they have them to give. Shanti (which means peace in Hindi) Ministries serves so well asylum seekers and ethnic minorities in Hong King everyday.
There are faces and names I remember from the millions. They sit in my minds eye and they float above my head in that place where I put all the heavy hard things that I feel and wonder how to reach. Although these hearts have often landed in my prayers, whispered in the night or morning hours lately I’ve pulled them closer. Brought them ever nearer. It is heavier. It is burden. And the words breaking free from pen or lips fly and catch in the fingers and heart of our Good and Faithful Father.
This season I am putting my fingers to work for the elderly poor in Honk Kong. Things to keep them warmer next Winter. And also for the children in my friends clubs and for their mamas or aunties. I’ve been thinking about this for a very long time. It’s been words spoken just behind my ears. It’s been a song sung a little above my head. It’s been typewritten notes set down on the tables of my heart. But I’ve not fully accepted the note as addressed to me. Not opened my ears enough to let the words tell me all the words that have needed to be heard. Not let the song become a song that I would sing. Until now.
I think I’ve been overwhelmed before the start. Decided my little bit is not enough. But setting that aside I’ve set to work and pray as I do, singing that song. Grasping the notes or burden close to my heart. My process has always been something akin to what Elizabeth Chanin says about infusing the thread in her hand sewn creations with good intentions, rather while I make each sock or hat or mitten my slow and solitary work will also be filled with slow and intentional prayers for the ones who will wear them.
This is how I tend work. Praying and considering and communicating for the ones who would receive the gift. I’m not that fast, I don’t need to be. There are mistakes. Nothing I make is perfect. But in every stitch of the handmade thing there is also intertwined and mixed throughout it love and prayers. Hope and redemption is prayed for. That hearts would know the love of God and seek Him. Health and freedom and strength in the good and bad. Grace and mercy and peace. All good things from heaven for them.
I’m using a few free patterns to make these works- or at least that is the plan today. I’ve cast on these socks. This is the pattern for the mittens. This is the pattern for the hat. This is the pattern for the super warm woolen socks. I like this for the mamas and aunties. I also like this hat a lot. I made for one of the boys on his birthday. It’s very stretchy so I reckon it would fit many heads. I’ll add other patterns here if I need to. Feel free to join me. You can send them straight to the ministries in HK (linked above) or send them here and I will send in the later days of Fall, whichever you prefer.
Please pray. And remember that you can always send them financial donations if you prefer. It will not be wasted. Promise. Inquire about any of this and share as you like and thanks for stopping in.