I am reading a book by Ravi Zacharias, he is oe of my favorite speakers and thinkers of this time. His book is called The Grand Weaver, and he is of course from India. Those who know me know that I have a special place in my heart for this country, its people and its language. After all Romain Rolland, the French scholar, said:
“If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.”
Zacharias writes about a father and son who make saris and I wanted to share what he writes. This excerpt comes directly from his personal website.
Written by Ravi Zacharias:“Some years ago, I was visiting a place known for making the best wedding saris in the world—saris rich in gold and silver threads, resplendent with an array of colors. I expected to see some elaborate system of machines that would boggle the mind. Not so! Each sari was made individually by a father and son team. The father sat above the son on a platform, surrounded by several spools of thread that he would gather into his fingers. The son did just one thing. At a nod from his father, he would move the shuttle from one side to the other and back again. This would be repeated for hundreds of hours, till a magnificent pattern began to emerge.The son had the easy task—just to move at the father’s nod. All along, the father had the design in his mind and brought the right threads together. The more I reflect on my own life and study the lives of others, I am fascinated to see the design God has for each one of us, individually, if we would only respond. Little reminders show the threads He has woven into our lives.
Allow me to share from my own experience. As one searching for meaning and in the throes of a turbulent adolescence, I found myself on a hospital bed from an attempted suicide. It was there that I was read the fourteenth chapter of John’s Gospel. My attention was captured by the part where Jesus says to his disciples, “Because I live, you shall live also.” I turned my life over to Christ that day, committing my pains, struggles and pursuits into His hands.
Almost thirty years to the day after this decision, my wife and I were visiting India and decided to visit my grandmother’s grave. With the help of a gardener we walked through the accumulated weeds and rubble until we found the stone marking her grave. With his bucket of water and a small brush, the gardener cleared off the caked-on dirt. To our utter surprise, under her name, a verse gradually appeared. My wife clasped my hand and said, “Look at the verse!” It read, “Because I live, you shall live also.”
A purposeful design emerges when God weaves a pattern from what, to us, may often seem disparate threads. Even today, if you will stop and attend to it dear friend, you will see that He is seeking to weave a beautiful tapestry in your life as well, if only you will respond.”
He writes in The Grand Weaver that the son who is moving the shuttle moves it repetitively, and sometimes he may get bored or his back may hurt, but the father is the one who has the design in his mind and the threads in his hand. The son can only emulate and try to follow the father the best he can so he will become skilled and some day learn the business well enough to take over it some day.
Isn’t this like God and us? He is the father with all of the design in His mind for us. Our role is to be a team with Him, and to follow Him as best we can even if the design has not been fully revealed to us. Yet with the passage of time, we begin to see the gorgeous pattern emerge- the pattern of God’s design for our life.
I really liked this illustration by Zacharias, because it serves to remind us that each one of us is special just as each Sari is a work of art. Each one has been treated with great care, and He has a plan.