Recently, a dear friend of mine, Maeve, visited Austin. I often think about the origination of our friendship. We worked together at a coffee shop in college, but it was when we decided to meet up and knit together (because she wanted to learn) that our friendship really grew. We met nearly every week, and talked about our lives: my life as a newlywed and recent-grad, her life as a student and girlfriend of her now-husband, and we talked about Jesus' work in our lives. And we knit.
When she visited Austin, it was much the same. This time, we shared about our marriages and work and friends and church families. As we stitched our projects, we listened and shared and encouraged. (For full disclosure, we also toured the botanical gardens, took silly photos, enjoyed the warm weather, and ate barbecue and Tex-Mex). And I wore the necklace she knitted for me last year. Oh, it was so good.
Shared interests lead to shared stories lead to lives intertwined as we encourage each other in Christ.
Two other sweet souls here in Austin (Jessica and Molly!) are dear friends and knitting companions. As we share in the excitement of almost-completed projects and remembering new techniques, we also share in the excitement of larger joys, hardships, and triumphs in life.
Maybe when the hands are busy, the words come easier? Hearts open a bit more. As our hands act and produce beauty, that activity and productivity leads to refinement in our hearts as we talk about the good and the hard parts of life. When we talk, the Holy Spirit enables us to encourage one another and be vulnerable with one another and then, you have a sweater/scarf/pair of socks. But you also have soul sisters and a changed heart.