She mentioned that she had the pattern,
Asked if I would be interested in using it,
Making a lighthouse for the island I was working on.
I know nothing of plastic canvas,
Only that which she has said,
That it is easy and fast,
Yet I am not an expert in stitching.
I prefer a crochet hook to a needle any day.
At least give me a machine that will do the work for me.
She promised to help.
I went in search,
Digging up old pieces of plastic canvas,
Pulling a rainbow of colors out of yarn boxes and drawers.
I followed the pattern's cutting directions,
Snipped extra plastic ends away.
I handed them to her and she stitched.
She showed me how to stitch, claiming it was my project.
I told her it was her idea,
But I was happy to help.
She stitched the sides and left me to finish the last bit of yellow,
Outline the windows and doors,
Stitch the balcony
And the lantern room
And the roof . . .
I left the balcony railing for her, as I did not know how to stitch it properly.
The pattern showed that the stitches I had been using would not work for that portion.
I worked on the other bits,
Stitching all morning and through the early afternoon.
The sides were easiest to finish.
They were done first,
All neatly stitched and outlined.
Then came the balcony, the lantern room, the roof.
The railing was the only piece left unstitched.
I would have begun to stitch the pieces together, had I known how.
As it was, I did not, so I left the remainder of the work until she turned home.
While I waited, however, my curiosity and the empty memory space in the camera I was holding got the best of me.
I had to see just a glimpse of how it would look when it was finished.
It seemed a little off.
I assumed I had probably done something wrong.
The circles did not seem quite big enough.
When she returned home, she agreed that something was not quite right.
At first we thought we used the wrong circles.
Eventually, we realized that we had used the wrong size of plastic canvas.
The directions had called for something called "seven count".
The plastic canvas I had found was leftover.
There was no label on it to indicate the size . . .
Or count . . .
Or whatever it's called.
We tried larger circles, which seemed to work fairly well.
She finished the railing and began to stitch the sides together.
When she finally finished, she asked me to get the glue gun.
I got it out and plugged it in.
I laid out the pieces that needed to be put together.
The balcony went on first.
I lined the rim of the tower with the hot glue,
Then pressed the balcony on top,
Trying to center it, but not quite succeeding.
Then came the room from which the light emanates.
I traced the bottom with the glue gun's tip as I squeezed the "trigger".
Again, it didn't end up quite centered.
It's so difficult to tell when placing circles on hexagons and vice versa.
Last came the roof.
I traced the hexagon once more and pressed the conical object on top.
Again, not quite centered.
The whole thing looked a little odd, as if the balcony and roof were too large.
Really, we were lucky to get the whole thing together.
I placed it upon my sand-covered posterboard.
It was finished.
Slightly lopsided, yes.
Oddly outlined, yes.
Still, it was finished.
In fact, in its own way, it was quite beautiful.
It really looked nice on those "sandy beaches" I had worked so hard to create.
It was something I could never have done on my own.
I did not know how.
I would have simply made a mess.
In fact, many things in my life are like that.
No matter how hard I try, all I can do is make a mess of things.
I always need help - more help than most would be able to give me.
Fortunately, there is One who can.
I chose to make the lighthouse in the colors of the rainbow.
Rainbows come with so many interpretations these days.
When I look at a rainbow, I only see one:
After all, that's why these seven colors were stretched across the sky in the first place.
As a promise.
In fact, the rainbow reminds me of all of His promises.
It gives me hope.
Hope that, even in my worst messes, even when I can't put all of the pieces together, . . .
Even when I can't find all of the pieces,
He will still be there.
He will still be holding me.
He will still love me,
It seems fitting to me - a rainbow lighthouse.
He gave us the rainbow to represent the promise.
He gave us the Son to guide us out of darkness.
He is the light.