Sewing My Best

December 13, 2011

Food for Thought

Photo/Sewing. Licensed under Creative Commons

I like to sew. When my children were little – I would sew them cute little outfits and took pride in how they looked. Even though I enjoy sewing – I would not call myself a seamstress. A good seamstress will make the inside of the garment as beautiful as the outside. The things I made looked good on the outside, but inside the seams were uneven, the stitches bumpy – there were flaws. Years ago I decided to enter an outfit I had made into the competition at the county fair. It was by far the best sewing job I had done.

The shorts set I made for my daughter had a cherry appliqué and rick rack trim. It was darling. When I brought it before the judges however, they turned it inside out and looked at all the flaws. It is funny how I felt embarrassed at that moment, having my mistakes being examined.

I started sewing again recently and came upon a similar experience and it got me wondering about how we like to only show our “best side” and how incredibly humbling it is to allow someone to see our mistakes. Even in the sacrament of confession, I find myself wanting to show only my “good” side. Some sins are easier to confess – or better yet I can easily delude myself into thinking that I look pretty good – from the outside. But if I were to examine closely the insides of my garment – I would see the flaws. Bumpy stitches, uneven seams and all.

Matthew 23:18 says it “Even so on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.”

God already knows my flaws and if I don’t examine them– I will never learn to become a better seamstress.

Preparing for a thorough confession is humbling, humiliating in fact, and it takes courage. (Not unlike bringing my garment before the judge) But God responds with mercy, the Holy Spirit responds with love, Christ forgives us and guides us.

Advent is a perfect time to revisit this sacrament. Many parishes are offering additional times for hearing confessions.
If you haven’t been to this beautiful sacrament in a while or would like help preparing for confession check out Catholic.org – http://www.catholic.org/prayers/confession.php

I may never be a seamstress – but I am reminded that my ultimate goal is not to sew the perfect garment, but to grow in holiness.

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About Sharon O'Connell-Wilson

I am a wife to my husband Dave and mother to my children Courtney and Gabe. I have a degree in education and have worked as a teacher, in advertising, radio, retail buyer and in youth advocacy – I even rode an elephant in the circus once! I am a “cradle” Catholic who didn’t really know my faith until my adulthood. On fire with my faith and love for God I dove into parish life at Divine Mercy Catholic Church in Faribault, Minnesota. Once I dove in, I began to realized I needed to learn how to swim! Patient priests and friends as well as the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute helped me to learn the strokes. I love talking about my faith and learning more about the great gift of being Catholic. I write, speak and promote for WINE:Women In the New Evangelization. Find it at www.CatholicVineyard.com

View all posts by Sharon O'Connell-Wilson
  • Sgkohl

    Well done again! You have a gift for writing. Thank you for accepting me as your friend and allowing me to expose my flaws to you.

  • Ann

    Oh my gosh ~ that’s definitely an analogy I can relate to! Takes some of the fear out of introspection and preparation for confession.

  • Susan

    Thank you for the encouragement to be real with God about our flaws. Your analogy is very effective.

  • Maureen

    what a wonderful column, totally makes you look at confession with new eyes. THanks