Friday, November 4, 2011

Knitting before the face of God

Once you learn to be fully present, says Anthony Bloom in Beginning to Pray, "there is no situation which can prevent you from praying.  What can prevent you from praying is that you allow yourself to be in the storm, or you allow the storm to come inside you instead of raging around you."

Remembering the story of Jesus sleeping in the boat with the disciples while the storm rages, Bloom goes on to say that we are like the disciples: in the face of the storm we wake God up and shake our fists, saying "Why don't you DO SOMETHING?"

But if we have taken the time to learn to be still, to be present, then we can bring that stillness into the storm.  "If you are silent, you can rest in the eye of the cyclone or the hurricane, in the calm there, leaving the storm around you to rage while you stand at the only point of total stability.  But this point of total stability is not a point where nothing happens.  It is the point where all conflicting tensions meet and are counter-balanced by one another."

And if, he adds, you find it troubling to be still, "Go to your room after breakfast, put it right...light the lamp before your icon, and first of all take stock of your room.  Just sit, look round, and try to see where you live... and then take your knitting and for fifteen minutes knit before the face of God.  I forbid you to say one word of prayer.  Just knit, and try to enjoy the peace of your room."

Now THERE's a practice I could do -- although I might be crocheting instead...


Maureen said...

Did you see the review I wrote of Peggy Rosenthal's "Knit One, Purl a Prayer"? You might enjoy the book. It's a quick read.

I think I could use some knitting in my life these days.

Sue Palmer said...

Love this! Contemplative knitting! Who knew! Thanks for sharing this book - it's now on my "to read" list.


Songbird said...

As a knitter, I totally get this. Great post.