This week I’m taking a break from sharing allegories from my own life. Instead, I’m sharing an allegory Corrie ten Boom often spoke of.
(Note that while tapestries and embroideries are different based on the methods used, I use both terms interchangeably in this post.)
Have you heard of Corrie ten Boom? If not, let me fill you in.
Corrie ten Boom was a Christian and a Dutch watchmaker. When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands, Corrie and her family became involved in helping hide the Jews.
Eventually, the Nazis caught on and arrested Corrie, her sister, Betsie, and their elderly father. Her father died 10 days later.
Corrie and Betsie were sent to Ravensbruck – a brutal concentration camp. They were forced to work hard, given little to eat, and abused. Betsie died there, but Corrie miraculously was released.
After the war, Corrie travelled the world sharing her story and her faith in God.
If you want to learn more, I highly recommend reading her biography: The Hiding Place.
Okay. Now that you know who Corrie ten Boom was and understand that she endured greater hardship than many of us can imagine, let me share an allegory she often told.
When speaking, Corrie would hold up a cloth with a jumble of dark and light threads that were all haphazard and unruly.
Holding the cloth for all to see, Corrie would explain how that cloth represented what we can see of our life. Our lives look jumbled and often the dark seasons we endure (like the dark threads) make no sense.
Then she would turn the cloth around revealing an intricately embroidered crown. She would explain that God sees this side of the cloth and one day will reveal it to us.
Those dark threads, or dark seasons of our lives, make no sense right now but one day we’ll see what God was up to. The dark threads are necessary to make the whole embroidery stunningly beautiful.
The night before His crucifixion, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
In closing, let me leave you with a poem Corrie ten Boom often quoted to capture this allegory.
Life is But a Weaving (The Tapestry Poem)
By Grant Tuller
My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.