Friday, September 14, 2012

The Tapestry


The Tapestry

As readers travel through the seasons of our heroine Kristin Lavransdatter’s life, it feels as though we are examining the backside of a greatly woven tapestry. There seem to be loose ends still waiting to be tied, jagged edges which were never straightened and mystifying gaps seemingly lacking any purpose. It is as if we are looking at an image which reminds us of something familiar that we can not yet grasp, as though we are “seeing through a glass darkly.” (1 Corinthians 13).

Even as we absorb the gravity of Kristin lying on her death bed, we find ourselves drawing final connections while at the same time, making peace with that which we did not understand fully. But as we say goodbye to this very realistic human being, we glimpse the tapestry of her life from above, from the vantage point of eternity. And the loveliness is breathtaking.

Kristin’s life did not always make sense, and she often contributed to that herself when she deviated from the path which was intended for her. She could be headstrong, impulsive and begrudging. But she was also generous, faithful and loyal, and she loved her children and her husband with reckless abandon. If it had not have been for her father and several other key people in her life who reminded her of her eternal destiny, Kristin may have chosen an entirely different future. She sought to understand how her eternal destiny related to her time on earth. Though she struggled with her own weaknesses and frustrations, the legacy of faith that she received took root in her soul. Kristin may not have been able to control the ones she loved and the choices that they made, but she found peace in choosing to be the best she could be in the circumstances she was given. She found that in surrendering to sacrifice, she would win the greatest battle of all - the victory of turning away from temptation and accepting life in Christ.

This message can be universally applied to all of us, as we are all pilgrims on a journey toward an eternal destination. Our tapestries are being woven as we feel ourselves being tugged and pulled in what may appear to be senseless struggling. But as our faith grounds us in all that we do, helping us to overcome the flaws which are inextricably connected to our salvation, we may too see that the greatest joy is to surrender to the sacrifice that both pushes us down and pulls us upward.

4 comments:

  1. Thank you Julia! Your tapestry allusion is so beautiful. None of the characters are perfect, and we want Kristin to be, but she's not. No one does exactly what we want them to do, and that is just one of the ways in which the author makes the story authentic. We can relate, because she is so approachable.

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  2. Beautiful, Julia. I love, "But as we say goodbye to this very realistic human being, we glimpse the tapestry of her life from above! From the vantage point of eternity. And the loveliness is breathtaking.". I often think about how God views our (my) life and I know He doesn't look through the worldly lens like I do, but sees my heart and every little attempt to give him at least some return on the great love He has bestowed on me. And when it is all woven together, somewhere deep in side, I can't help think that he must be pleased by all the effort and not necessarily on the mostly faulty results. Thank you for this.

    I'm going to really miss Kristin, but I think knowing her and experiencing(and relating) to her struggles is going to make me a better person. Thank you, Sigrid Undset!

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  3. Beautiful, Julia! It is a tremendous comfort as a mother to hope that my messy attempts may come together, with prayer and intention, so they are recognizable from a heavenly vantage. I love that this is a defense of Kristen--and of hope--because she is only as flawed as the rest of us. Thank you for this, Julia.

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  4. I truly feel like I lost a friend when I closed the pages of that book. We came to know Kristin in such an intimate way, and which of us could not relate to some aspect of her life in one way or the other? I did not expect to be performing such an introspective analysis of character (on myself!) while reading this book....I think maybe that's why I was so supportive of Kristin, feeling that same hope that God will help reveal my flaws to me not so that I will stumble on them, but so that I will be humble and remember upon Whom I depend.

    Thank you again Lauren, for introducing this book to us. I can see that I will need to re-read it at least 2 more times in my life time!!!

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