A few days before Christmas my husband and I joined members of a local church to distribute groceries to the families of farmworkers in a rural community near where we live. Though this is a weekly ministry, on this day, they also threw a Christmas party for some 300 people. (Typically, they serve 300-500 people once a week!) Some of the ladies had made over 400 sandwiches and baked just as many little gift cakes. There were teddy bears and candy canes for the children and a Santa to give them them out with hugs. The smiles of gratitude from these beautiful little children — and their parents! –were heartwarming.
Several of the women had been working on crocheted or knitted blankets and throws for months, which they gave out with more smiles and hugs. Again, the gratitude of those who received them touched my heart. Each was a tangible gift of love that said more than words ever could.
As I watched, an idea began nipping at the edges of my heart. I’ve made a number of prayer shawls for friends and family. The idea is that as you crochet or knit, with each stitch you pray for the one you’re making it for. The receiver is blessed beyond all measure (I know this firsthand!) when presented with this gift of love.
By the time I got home that niggling idea had worked its way into the center of my heart. What about prayer blankies for the babies? I checked my shelves of stacked yarns — many left over from other projects. I hadn’t known until that minute how they could be used. Then it came to me: Simple granny squares made from those yarns could be stitched together make up beautiful baby blankets. With each stitch would be a prayer for that baby and his or her family. I would probably never know the child’s name, but God knows. He knows that little one just as intimately as he knows me. “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13)
I began work immediately on the first prayer blankie, and I’m nearly finished (photo coming soon) and will soon begin another. Would you like to join me? If you are a quilter, knitter, or crochet-er and would like to make a prayer blankie for a baby or toddler, I would love to hear from you. Just post a comment on this page, or send me an email for further instructions. I will also be posting easy patterns and ideas for designs on my website. What a blessing it would be to gather as many prayer blankies as possible for these precious little children.
There are many prayers I whisper as I stitch together this baby blanket — that this child will be cared for physically and emotionally now and in the years to come; that this little one will someday, somehow, understand he is loved by Someone who loves him as if he is the only one in the world to love; and that especially, the child might come to know the One who says, “I have loved you with an everylasting love, therefore in lovingkindness I have drawn you. . .”