Sewing Mends the Soul

Communion: I am committed to a regular, transformative, centering practice of spirituality and I intend to live the moments of my life increasingly present to life and awake to who I am called to be.

Sewing mends the soul. There are many different forms of needlework projects that give a rhythmic ebb and flow while the needle moves through its canvas. The needlework that I stitch is called needlepoint, which weaves yarn through a painted canvas to create a pattern. I have needlepointed several projects over the past ten years, but the one I am currently stitching is unparalleled. I joined three other women at Bruton Parish in needlepointing four chair cushions for the Bishop’s official chair in the church. Each chair cushion represents one of the Four Evangelists’ symbols. The one that I am currently working on is for St. Luke, which has a winged ox in the center.

Every day I try to devote two hours to needlepointing and this habit has transformed into a spiritual practice for me. I usually begin with tension in my shoulders and slowly relax with each minute. Time passes until I am completely absorbed into a mindset where I can stitch without thinking. All my troubles from the day seem to leave me and become woven into the canvas. I am left completely at peace. Although it will take me five months to finish needlepointing the canvas, I am glad it has become a form of spiritual practice for me.

–Grace Martien lives in the Durham House intentional community and serves at Uniting NC.














Grace Martien