As She Crochets, She Prays

Partially crocheted prayer shawl

Ada prays as she crochets. The room is darker than light to her, but she can feel the warmth from the sun on her face as she sits at her living room window. Now 93, Ada spends most of her days in the home she shares with her sister.

A former secretary, a school teacher in several states, and hostess at International Guest House in Washington DC, her world changed from light to dimness and now to nearly darkness. An accident and then other illnesses have taken most of her sight from her.

Every week, a friend comes to spend most of a day with her. The friend reads to Ada, who has always loved literature, poetry, and the beauty of words. Ada’s sister Elnora fixes lunch and serves them both on this Reading day.

I visited Ada a few weeks ago. We live in different states, but our friendship began when I was in sixth grade and she became my English and Literature teacher. Ada is also the one who told the story about May Baskets. She told it with such emotion and fervor that a long-lasting tradition was born that same evening. You can read about that here.

Ada asked about my husband and my children. She wanted to hear, again, how Dave and I met. Ada laughed as I recounted our story. When I told her about my kids, she oohed and aahed, and sometimes chuckled as I described each one to her. Head cocked, face intent, she listened and commented as we conversed.

I noticed the partly-finished afghan in her living room, and I asked her about it.

“It is a shawl,” she told me. “I pray as I stitch. A prayer for a different person with each stitch.”

Each row has twelve shells; each shell as five triple crochets. So each row has sixty stitches, plus there are shells in between each set.

With each stitch, she prays

Each stitch is a prayer for someone.

Her great niece provides the yarn and helps choose to whom this shawl will belong. The last one Ada crocheted went to a great-great nephew who is seventeen and is autistic.

How long does it take to make a shawl? One to two weeks, she tells me.

“You can add me to the folks you pray for as you crochet,” I tell her.

Ada shared the poem she has written about her crocheting with me. She recognizes that she is in her sunset years. That doesn’t matter. She keeps busy in the Kingdom. 

She prays.

A shawl stays in her living room as she prays

A lesson for me and for all of us. There is always something one can do to serve Jesus, no matter our inabilities or age, no matter our frailties. One can always pray.

So Ada prays.

She prays

As she crochets

Forming no words

Simply holding in her heart

Those who need God’s special touch

Of love.  

– Ada Schrock

In the New Year, there is something you can do. One of the greatest gifts we can give to the Kingdom is to pray.

Will you join me in the New Year?

Will the legacy you leave be that of someone who prays?

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