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Home : Community : Charity Connection : Stories : Coming to Life Through Prayer Shawl Ministry
 

Stories from the Heart

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Caring and Sharing

While so many of us love making things for ourselves and our families, many in the Lion community go further, creating for those in need. Join us in this section and be touched by these true stories of caring and sharing submitted by Lion Brand readers.

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Coming to Life Through Prayer Shawl Ministry

I have my own small cottage business called "Shawls by Ruthie." I specialize in custom-order shawls, baby blankets, lapghans, and other flat items such as winter scarves and child-sized afghans. But I am best known for my prayer shawls and I have been asked about them so much that I made an entire page about my ministry on my web site (www.shawlsbyruthie.com). Here's what I said on that page:

Over a year ago I heard about the prayer shawl ministry. Since I am disabled, I thought this was a way I could minister to other people without having to leave my apartment. So I asked God how to do it, and He gave me a name of someone who needed to be reassured of God's love and comfort. So I made her a prayer shawl. As soon as I sent off that first shawl another name came to mind and the strong sense that I was to make a shawl for them. And so it began.... No profit is made on these prayer shawls.

Just so you get an idea of how a recipient feels, read what one recipient said about her shawl:

"My prayer shawl came in to my life right after burying my Mother. What perfect timing from The Lord. The moment I wrapped myself in my prayer shawl it felt just like a warm hug straight from my Mother's heart."\

"I adore my prayer shawl. It is....oh so....heavenly soft and cuddly. I am proud to say my prayer shawl was wonderfully and beautifully made by the loving hands of Ruthie. What I love the most is that each stitch is mixed with tender prayers for each individual recipient.

"I will treasure my prayer shawl forever."

Now to the logistics (or technical information or whatever you want to call it): I ALWAYS use Lion Brand's Homespun yarn for my prayer shawls, primarily because of the softness and warmth the yarn provides. I use a large crochet hook (size N, 10 mm) and a half-double crochet stitch. Depending on my instincts, I choose color, length of the shawl and fringe, and whether the fringe is knotted or left to softly fray. I have made so many shawls in the past year (20-25) that it only takes me about three hours to construct each shawl. The finishing (weaving in loose ends and making fringe) takes about the same amount of time. And no, there has been no local attention given to my ministry...and I prefer to keep it that way.

What would I say to knitters and crocheters who are thinking about participating in this kind of charitable work? I would say to go for it! There is nothing more rewarding or satisfying to me than to know that I have made a difference in someone's day. It is an honor to pray for someone, to be a comfort to someone who needs some extra love. And participating in this ministry gives me a sense of usefulness even though I am not able to go out and do volunteer work. It is a good thing to think of someone other than yourself; developing a prayer shawl ministry is a marvelous way to do that.


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