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In Stitches of Love

“And God was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them…” Acts 19:11-12

I recently received a prayer shawl – hand knitted by the ladies in our Knitting for Warmth group. My shawl has supernatural properties. I’m not kidding at all. No matter how lousy I’m feeling if I wrap myself in that shawl I start to feel better right away.

I know that doesn’t make logical sense, but then neither does “kiss it better” or chicken soup – or a hug when you’re feeling down. But we all know that all those things work, almost in a magical way. Of course, that’s no magic at work, that’s the power of love. That’s God in action. That’s an actual, real, born-in-heaven, day-to-day miracle.

So I say, God bless the amazing Knitters of Warmth! Theirs is a wondrous ministry of making miracles, one little stitch at a time.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35

Of course God doesn’t need my prodding to bless them – He automatically blesses the hands that do His work. And I’m not just talking about blessings to come in Heaven. I’m talking about God proving His Word right here and right now. But don’t take my word for it, hear what science has to say.

The following is a summary of an excellent article in the Daily Telegraph explaining how God blesses knitters in ways that even skeptics can see. The article can be found in its entirety here.

The organization Knit for Peace carried out a widespread literature review looking at the health benefits of knitting. They discovered that knitting is as relaxing as yoga, distracts from chronic pain (such as arthritis) boosts wellbeing, brings down blood pressure and keeps the mind sharp. It also reduces loneliness and isolation – and helps people feel useful.

The new review found that knitting lowers heart rate by an average 11 beats per minute and induces ‘an enhanced state of calm’ and even the same state of ‘flow’ experienced by athletes when they are ‘in the zone’ which causes a drop in stress hormones and blood pressure. It also helps chronic pain by switching off alarm signals in the brain, (because the focus is turned elsewhere). Repetitive movement also boosts calming serotonin which lifts mood and also dulls pain. A study of over 70s by the Mayo Clinic found that knitting even helps reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease!

The process of creating an object also boosts the reward centers of the brain and can help lower depression. Many former smokers have used knitting as a way to control their cravings to reach for cigarettes, by keeping their hands busy with the needles.

“We found a surprisingly large body of research showing the health benefits of knitting. What is more surprising is how little known the research is. Knitting is often dismissed or derided as old-fashioned, but it should be promoted because of its health-giving qualities. We believe knitting could help prevent people needing to visit the doctor so much, and help them feel happier, less isolated, and more healthy.”

The report also calls for knitting to be taught in schools.

If you are excited about this and want to get involved for yourself, our wonderful group of knitters would love to help you out – even to the point of teaching you how to knit! In their own words:

Come join the Knitting for Warmth group which meets every Friday from 10:00am to 11:30am in the Conference Room at the church. This is an open, community knitting time for anyone who would like to create a prayer shawl. Your shawl will be given as a gift of love, hope, and comfort to someone who is critically ill or in crisis. Knitting instruction will be available if this is your first project, and materials will be provided for FREE. Contact Betty Cheeley at (208) 664-2612 if you have questions, or if you know of someone who could really use the gift of a shawl at this time in their life.

So far we have knitted 341 shawls! And we knit year-round. So, come join us!

You don’t have to go to our church to attend, and you don’t even need to be a believers to get the benefit! And I can tell you, from first hand experience, the tremendous power and impact of this wonderful ministry.

 

Love,

Steve Balas

Comments(4)

  1. Reply
    Carol Landon says

    Thank you, Steve….Betty & Madie are angels 😇 to have started this ministry…So very glad you felt the love & prayers prayed while the shawl was being knit …
    My Mom, Joan Landon, loved the group and continued to knit shawls of all different sizes as her dementia advanced & body gave out…she felt like she gave love to many and felt the love of the group until her final days. God blessed us with the gift of loving as He loved us, and this is one way of glorifying Him 🙏✝️

  2. Reply
    Linda Bakes says

    Very interesting, Steve. Thanks for posting it.

  3. Reply
    Judy flieger says

    My Nephew Kelly Griffin was a recepeant of one of the prayer shawls and it was a real blessing .Upon his passing my sister continues to use it and it brings real comfort.

  4. Reply
    Carolyn Keefer says

    Once again you have written an outstanding article, Steve. We are so proud, as a church family, of this wonderful ministry of the Prayer Shawls that has touched so many of us!

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