I spend a larger-than-average amount of time talking about knitting, specifically talking about knitting hats. Because of this, there is much that goes unsaid, some of it unintentionally, and some of it very much so.
For example, I don't spend much time talking about how messy our house usually is, and I don't share anything about my work life.
I also don't talk much about faith.
There are many bloggers today who talk faith, specifically Christian faith, in excellent ways. They move people's souls as they share their relationship with Christ freely for all who read, unapologetic in their love of their god and their churches and their Jesus. I have stayed clear of this talk for several reasons - first and foremost, it's hard to share your unapologetic love for Christ when you don't go to church yet live in a world where church attendance counts for more than people would care to admit when it comes to love of Christ.
Mostly though, I don't share my faith because I still struggle with it. I shove against grace with all my might every single day of my life, unsure of just how to live in a world where there is a god who loves everyone so much that he freely sacrificed his child for us.
for god so loved THE WORLD.
This kind of love stops me, breaks me, as I try to figure out just how it can be possible. This kind of grace frees me as I know just how not perfect I am.
I struggle because that kind of love and grace seems big enough to push back against the horror that is our world today. The death and destruction and poverty and the overwhelming lack of grace we humans have for one another. How do I, one person, exhibit that grace in a world that seems so hell-bent on blocking it out?
I knit hats because I see the children in my neighborhood walk to school in January without winter coats, and I don't have the money to buy one for each of them. I knit hats because I look in the eyes of the homeless guy sitting on the corner smelling of alcohol and urine and know that someone somewhere loved him, even if it was long ago, and my heart breaks that he is sitting there while I walk by.
I knit hats because I honestly don't know what else to do.
This is my friend Steve. The last time I saw him in person he looked nothing like this strong and fully grown man you see here - he was a 15 year old high school student about to embark on a summer-long mission trip that would change the course of his life. He was tinier than me, heart full of hope and laughter and soccer, and I had known from the moment I laid eyes on him he was special.
I knew Steve when I worked at a large church, in their extra large high school ministry. I knew Steve because he went to the same high school as many of the girls I spent large amounts of time with, praying, laughing, and loving fiercely. And I knew Steve because there is no doubt in my mind he was brought into my life to show me what grace truly is.
Steve is now a grown-up living in Copenhagen with his wife and their two small children, having been called their by our god of grace to live and work. Just typing this blows my mind.
On August 24th Steve was rushed to the hospital following an attack due to a pre-existing medical condition. After evaluations and then surgery, Steve is now looking at a months-long stay in the hospital as he tries to regain movement in his left leg and both arms/hands.
Months away from his amazing wife Dawn and their two little ones Hope and Esben. Months of not knowing, months of pain as his nerves register every touch from every single person as attack and fire.
Half a world away, I spend my time on my knees in tears, because how does this happen? In a world where so much is wrong, how does this little family that is so RIGHT experience this pain? And how am I so far away I can't grab the kids for a few hours so Dawn has some time, can't bring a meal over, can't stop by with coffee and a hug? And so it seems that all I can do is knit.
She Makes Hats shop, for sale from now through the end of the year for $35 each. I will continue to list adult-sized hats between now and then, each of them available for $35.
For each hat sold, at least $20 will be sent to the Sandoval family, for bills, food, whatever they may need.
I say at least $20, because I know that is the minimum I can send. I will update this amount after I figure out realistically how much I will spend in yarn and fees. I am not trying to make money here, I am trying to do what I can in this moment for some folks I love dearly. T
hese hats are well-made, make excellent holiday gifts, and are all washer/dryer safe, something I know we all love and appreciate! I'd love it if you'd consider purchasing one and helping this family out.
** EDITED TO ADD **
I've been asked to share a way to help the family out financially without having to buy a hat, for those who make hats themselves or already have their winter hat situation handled. You can send the Sandoval family money directly to their Paypal address (which is how I will be sending money as well), which is firstname.lastname@example.org