Daily Devotions
 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

by Bea Broder-Oldach

In the early months of the pandemic, personal protective gear was in very short supply. That was scary, because masks helped prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  I began to make masks at  home. 

Good Shepherd’s Piecemakers ministry inspired me. These stitchers created beautiful quilts,  sending their labors of love to nursing homes, to hospitals, as a comfort to the dying, to cheer children, as a gift of love and warmth to homeless people. The ministry was so beautiful, a gift of time, talent and treasure in the form of a needle and thread.  I felt a connection to their spirituality of sewing as I began to make masks at home.

I set up a folding table, my sewing machine and gathered all the cotton fabric, elastic and thread I could find. Each step in preparing a mask became a solitary spiritual practice until I received an unexpected email from one of the Piecemakers.  She was making masks at home, and wanted to donate them to people in need. Did I know of anyone? As a matter of fact, I did. Another friend joined us. Now there were three, sewing together, from different locations. Emails went back and forth, coordinating our pick up and delivery. Sometimes, the masks might be left on a porch for pick up, with the donor and driver giving one another a simple greeting through a glass storm door.  Some came by mail. I felt a sense of purpose and connection.

Masks went to Brown County, to support folks at their medical appointments.  Most were delivered to a community residence in Over the Rhine, providing housing to folks who have been homeless in the past. What must it have been like for our city neighbors to travel during a pandemic by foot or on a bus  to get food, and medical care, or for our rural neighbors to go to town for groceries or for work- and have no mask? Our mask deliveries were contactless, and also emotional. People were scared, and feeling so vulnerable. The mask said, someone cares about your life.

Thankfully, things are getting better and we can take some time to make meaning from our experiences. When I look back to a time about a year ago, I remember seeing a needle and thread became tools of love, connection and hope. While we will never know what  the masks meant to each stitcher, each wearer, or to the person passing them forward, I can say that when I visited the community residence right before Christmas last year, they had remained Covid free. 

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