Here it is, the tool I love to hate: my seam ripper. Its purpose is to make fixing mistakes easier, right? If you’ve sewn something incorrectly, if the stitches are somehow messed up, or if you need to let out a hem or a seam, this tool is your ticket! The problem is that it’s annoying to have to use it. I’m nearly always kind of mad when I pick this thing up; who wants to have to undo what’s been done?
The cool thing about fabric is that most of the time once your stitches have been removed, you can iron it up and the evidence disappears. No one even has to know that there’s been a mistake.
That’s for MOST fabrics. On these laminated cottons that we use for our bibs, the inside of lunch wraps, and soon the inside of some fabulous new pacifier holders, the evidence likes to stick around.
Life can be like that.
Sometimes we make mistakes, go back and fix them, and that’s the end of it. But sometimes we make mistakes and the evidence hangs around, taunting us. The question is, “what do we do with that?” I think Jesus is pretty clear in his teaching that our past mistakes do not have to define our future. And Paul reminds us in Philippians 3:13 that even he is “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead“. (And do you remember all that is in his past?)
Maybe for us the evidence of our past mistakes or sins is left around to remind us of how far we’ve come, or to challenge us to move forward and not make the same mistake again. Maybe it’s to help us connect to others and encourage them that they, too, can overcome their past. For sure it’s not there to weigh us down, to shame us, or to stand in the way of our being the hands and feet of Jesus here on Earth. Restoration and freedom are ours for the claiming.
The New Testament is full of passages that show us how we can move forward after making a mistake. Check out Philippians 3:12-14, Colossians 1:21-23, 1 John 1:9, and Hebrews 8:12 for some examples. As for the sewing, well, the top headband in the photo below is the one that caused me the headache of the seam-ripping. It’s done, with no lingering evidence of how messed up it once was. But oh, the stories it could tell!
Bonus Additional Use Idea: The vacuum!!
This handy tool quickly frees the spinner of your vacuum cleaner from all of those strings, hair, and debris caught up in the bristles. I keep a second one for that purpose – you can pick one up for about $1.00.