Content to Be a Thread

—Becca Miller, CCC Missionary in Thailand (and beyond)

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I go through spurts of buying fabric at the Thai market. The “Fabric Row” is a sea of raw material, thousands of bolts of every color and texture imaginable in shop after open-air shop. It’s dusty, musty, and packed into tight quarters, which makes coming home with the desired fabric feel like a treasure has been found.

I’m not into sewing. I don’t know how to use a sewing machine, and Brenden is the button-sewer at our home. But I do love colors and beauty and had a vision for a tablecloth. I bought two meters of material and just needed a hem around the edges. A friend taught me that if you find a thread where you want the edge to be and gently pull it the length of the fabric, it leaves a perfectly straight and clean line, which can then be used as an edge, without needing to sew it. It was like a magic trick, and it was good enough for my tablecloth needs.

I didn’t realize that embedded inside and within the external beauty of a fabric was this internal structure that composed the material, that has such consequence on the fabric. I suppose I should’ve known: any woman who has lived through the 1980s knows that once a rip in a pair of pantyhose begins, it’s over fast. Or that if you keep pulling on that one unraveled thread, you can undo an entire sweater.

Threads are important. They have consequence. Though as a standalone, they look inconsequential and even out-of-place, without a home or a greater purpose.

I haven’t wanted to be a thread. When we moved overseas, I wanted to produce the entirety of our work, the whole magnificent tapestry, for God’s glory (and my satisfaction). I’ll have the whole finished picture, thank you.

And God laughed, and said, “It’s MY picture, thank YOU. But I WILL use you as a beautiful thread. (Tears are welling as I write, unexpectedly. What a good God.) Through the ways that I’ve gifted you. In the pain that I bring your way, even, because it displays MY strength and glory.”

I accept. I’ll be the best thread I can be for You then. A strong, flexible, vital thread. And I’ll look for the other threads being woven and see how we can work together. And I’ll look to get new threads started. Brand new threads. From those of other nations too!

And if the thread passes through time, throughout generations, for someone else to use, and if I never see the full picture this side of heaven, I’ll confidently keep being the thread You want ME to be, trusting and awaiting Your big beautiful picture. “For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday” Psalm 90:4. And if I get to see the semblance of how the threads come together in my lifetime, I wouldn’t complain either (wink).

Ephesians 3:20–21: Now all glory to God (*HIS tapestry), who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him in the church (*many threads working together) and in Christ Jesus through all generations (*threads linked over time) forever and ever! Amen.