Scissors and Glue

Dear Family of St John’sMy husband thinks I have a problem.  Well, he thinks I have many problems, but the one I’m referring to today is my collection of craft related items.  He’s not as flattering in his description of my collection as I think he should be.  You see, I really enjoy doing anything crafty.  I have, over the years, led small craft workshops in previous parishes where I’ve served.  This means I have built up a fair collection of all things crafty… paper, glue (of every description!), scissors, beads, fabric, felt, ribbon, feathers, wire, pens, crayons, paints, brushes, pencils, kokis, doodads, thingamajigs, doefies and more!  Yes, there’s more. The fact that I have 23 pairs of scissors (they cut different things and some cut pretty patterns) is perfectly reasonable.  The collection of glue sticks and craft glues also makes sense.  If you have a workshop for 50 people, you need to have some basics available for those who attend.  Like glue and scissors… 23 pairs are about the right number. The problem I have is not the size of the collection, it’s been the lack of storage space.  So, all my craft items have been stored in large plastic storage tubs.  About 10 of them.  And there are a few extra bags and containers too.  It sounds like a lot, I know.  But I think I can reasonably justify and explain every item. Mostly. The problem with this system is that I don’t always know what’s in which container.  And, unpacking and repacking multiple containers is not practical. Especially when trying to do so under my husband’s ‘judge-y’ gaze! Our new home has wonderful storage space though.  I have a large cupboard that I very quickly claimed as my craft cupboard. But, the thought of trying to find a system and unpack all those storage tubs has been incredibly daunting.  So, the tubs and various bags were stuffed into the cupboards and the doors closed. They cry out to me each time I walk past, and I feel terribly guilty when I open the doors and try to find a particular item.  But, I have a sister who is a saint.  I mentioned her some weeks ago when I shared about my mom’s IT ‘skills’.  She is visiting for a while and offered to help me tackle the organisation of my craft cupboard.  I’m not sure that she appreciated how mammoth the task was that lay ahead.  I certainly didn’t.  My day off this week was spent sitting on the floor with sister, unpacking and sorting every one of those storage tubs and bags.  At one point I didn’t think we’d make it – our sanity was in serious danger! The day also included me offering numerous heartfelt apologies to my saintly sister for putting her through the ordeal. I really struggled with how much help I was receiving.  It made me uncomfortable, I felt guilty for taking up her time in that way. No matter how much she assured me that she was actually having fun, I really struggled.  And this has made me think about how I, and I’m sure many others, find it so much easier to give than to receive.  “How can I help you?” rolls off the tongue so easily, and it’s a heartfelt offer.  But, “Please would you help me?” is much more difficult.  Perhaps this is because the request leaves us feeling vulnerable, a little inadequate.  Maybe a part of us feels that we should be able to do it all ourselves?   Intellectually we know that this isn’t reasonable, but we still act this way at times. How do we feel then, about asking God for help? Do we try to do as much as we can on own and then eventually come to God at the point of desperation? Or do we come to Him right at the start? We know that He wants to give us good things.  Think about what Jesus tells us in Matthew 7, “‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.‘Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (vv7-11)Perhaps we need to learn to ask for help and make ourselves a little vulnerable.  And when that help is offered by God through someone else, let us also learn to graciously accept the offer of help. We need to step out and ask.  God has wonderful things He wants to give us.  So, if you need to borrow a pair of scissors, just ask.  I now know where they all are. With loveYour friend and rector,Claire