If you look at my first post on the blog - the handsome young man in the hospital bed at Duke, you may notice a white blanket with a small blue design.
[Right next to the urinal hanging on the bedrail - thanks Donna for framing the photo that way:} -I'm not sure the call button worked properly since the nurses did not answer in a timely manner. The care was so excellent and the nurses were constantly going in and out of the room so I never gave the call light malfunction a second thought. Besides, if I really needed them, I would just yell out "Coach K", "Coach K", a few times ... they would come pronto.]
Anyway, the blanket I speak of is a prayer blanket given to me from a member of a Centering Prayer Group at St. Andrew and prayed over by that group (and others). The member's name is Ernestine Soller, but she should answer to "saint"or "angel", because that is what she is.
At a time in life when a lot of us would be taking it easy and spending time with kids and grandkids, Ernestine is constantly at work sewing these blankets and giving them out to any and all who ask. The blanket represents and takes on the appearance of God's agape love and as the letter accompanying the blanket states, "when you hold this blanket, remember that you are not alone. We lift you up in prayer before the Lord and hope that it will be transformed into the very fabric of our pleas for God's healing on your behalf."
Imagine. The thread is woven, the prayers are woven in them.
I have given a blanket to others like myself who had medical procedures and a young family who lost a child. The last time I saw her, Ernestine was excited because she would making blankets for 40 soldiers in the Middle East.
I cannot comprehend what it must be lide to lose a child, but I can for combat. Someone once said that war involves living within the confines of very long periods of boredom filled with very short periods of complete terror. The problem is of course is that you don't know when those periods will come...but they do and life is cycled into very short horizons. Each moment's continuation is dependent on a lottery beyond dominion.
And that's where Ernestine's prayer blanket comes in. The thoughts between the periods are reflected thoughts - never realized in the moment, but only after. In this reflection everyone looks for meaning - something good, something to hold on to. I hope they realize that the prayer blanket packed and waiting for them in their rucksacks is that something. A concrete form of God. A concrete form of prayer.
God bless her.