Thursday, September 21, 2006

Prayer Shawls--Who Benefits?

My sister-in-law was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. I knitted her a prayer shawl in her favorite colors of blue and lime green. Of course I was in a hurry to send it off, so I didn't get any photos. I'm making her a matching pair of slippers (gotta love the Aunt Maggie's Slippers pattern for something quick and easy), so I'll post a photo of those when they are done.

The fact that this is a prayer shawl wouldn't mean much to my sister-in-law, and that's all right with me; at least I know she appreciates it and the fact that I made it. But, the fact that it is a prayer shawl means a great deal to me. That got me to thinking about who really benefits from a prayer shawl. Of course the recipient will know that extra love and good thoughts went into it, but the person making it benefits as well. There is the time spent in prayer or reflective thought during the creation of the shawl. And, when finished, there is the sense that you've done something to help ease someone's discomfort.


Anonymous said...

I think that in any good deed, the giver benefits the most. "Enlightened self-interest" as it were.
Julie from the ample list

Leslie said...

I made a shawl for a friend undergoing cancer treatment - it wasn't the "traditional" prayer shawl - I used Wendy's shawl pattern for a triangular and it was done in a red/purple varigated since Donna's also a Red Hat Lady. Her sister's church group sent a "regulation" prayer shawl. Guess which one I saw on the raffle table at a community event - her sister's! I just saw her today at the market and she was wearing mine :) Made me awfully proud it did and I know she values the good wishes that went into each stitch.

I guess my point is that a prayer shawl means more to the recipient if she/he knows the donor (and vice versa) than just wearing something made by a group for a generic purpose.