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This community wears its heart on its sleeve when it comes to the homeless.

A short-term solution is better than no solution at all.

Laura Jean Straight, 65, died on Oct. 9, 2019, in Bellingham, Washington. She was born to Mildred Irwin and Al Betmyeren on Dec.
Perspectives: Transformed by divine geometry


Many things in life can take our breath away — wind storm, a sunset, a rainbow. Last weekend there was something else in the air that took my breath away. I found it at the “Quilting in the Rain” show.

If you haven’t been for a walk through the stunning works of art at the annual quilt show, now is the time to write it into next years’ calendar.

Just as an athlete accepts the challenge of a high-risk event, these artists can find the highest challenges in geometry and the abstract. The pattern is everything.

Patterns in nature astound us. The feathers on a bird, the colors on a flower, the intricate markings on a butterfly amaze us. With magnification, we see these patterns and we find Our Creator there.

We all have patterns and routines to our lives. When we wake up each day, we take on our tasks that get us out the door. And if our routines are interrupted, especially with some bad news, it stops us short.

I am not a quilter, but I imagine that there are times the fabric artists have run out of a color or thread or have just run out of energy. They diligently work their patterns, fitting everything into place. In its simplicity, it is quite complex.

Although sticking to a tried-and-true pattern works for us most of the time, part of being human is having our world turned upside down. Others may not see the wrinkle in the fabric of our life, but we can.

So, my question is: how do you make your way through the wrinkles in the fabric? Do you get out the ironing board or throw that piece away? Do you accept it for what it is or try to ignore it?

Metaphors are so much fun, but they only go so far. We need a foundation, a rock, a place we can return to when our world goes awry.

Jesus took the status quo of his times and shook up the beliefs and mindset of his day. I love Jesus for what he taught and continues to teach us every day — but what if I lived in his time? Would I have been OK with my world shaken up? His unconditional love for all must have stunned those around him.

The Gospels tell us that the crowds were amazed at what Jesus was saying. Who is this Jesus who loves us and cares for us so much that he asks us to the hard work of embracing this new vision of the world? He calls us to reorient our worldly values and our patterns. This is a new covenant between God and humanity, by God’s grace and mercy.

What we do each day, our routines, how we love and are loved, how we relate to each other, are transformed by Jesus. His is a message of reconciliation and redemption for all — a message of belonging.

In other words, each square in our patchwork quilt of life — the joy and the disappointment — can be transformed into an extraordinary work of art by Divine Love.

Margie Adams is staff chaplain of PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.


Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.