Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | December 27, 2011

Gold and Silver Threads

Houston, Texas en route to New Delhi, India

Everything changed for the Patterson family on June 15, 2006, the day that Diane, wife and mother of two, was killed in a tragic auto accident on Interstate 10 in Houston. Nothing can prepare a family to receive that kind of news — the worst kind of news that forces one to live with the reality of the unexpected and unexplained loss of a loved one. The years since Diane’s death have been difficult for her husband Marcus and their children Daniel and Danae. Not a day goes by that they do not miss Diane and wish that the events of June 15 had been as normal as those of any other day. And because we are human and try to make sense of the things we will never understand on this side of heaven, it’s easy to have those “If only” type of thoughts — “If only Diane had left the house five minutes earlier or five minutes later, she might still be with us.” Fortunately, we have a sympathetic Savior who understands. After the death of Lazarus, Martha approached Jesus and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21).

The fact of the matter is that we will not fully understand things like the tragic death of a loved one until we see God face to face. In 1996, I visited the home of Corrie ten Boom in Harlem, Holland. Corrie and her family provided a hiding place for Jews during the Second World War. In her home, our guide showed us a needlepoint that Corrie had stitched and later framed. “It was her favorite piece,” our guide said as he pointed to what appeared to be a chaos of threads behind the glass of the frame. But then he turned it over to reveal what, to my surprise, were the words to “The Weaver,” a poem I had memorized years earlier. The words of this poem assure us that one day we will fully understand.

My life is but a weaving,
Between my Lord and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He worketh steadily.

Oft times He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the underside.

Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reasons why

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver’s skillful hands,
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

Although Diane’s death was tragic, it is not a tragedy because she was a deeply devoted follower of Jesus. And because we believe the promises of God are true, we grieve with hope. In the months following Diane’s death, our missions ministry received several generous memorial gifts. Because Diane had spent two years of her life in India as a journeyman with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, it seemed right to invest in building a boarding home for the children of persecuted Christian families in Orissa, the Indian state with the worst record of persecution of Christians in recent history. After two years, the initial phase of our campus is complete. The boys in the Diane Patterson Bethany Home will not only have a safe place to live, but will continue to receive the very best Christian education. This home is just one of those “threads of gold and silver” in the tapestry of Diane’s life and legacy.

I am privileged to be escorting Marcus, Daniel, and Danae to India to dedicate the boys home in Diane’s memory and to help move in the almost one-hundred boys in our care. Our friend Sean Cunningham who serves on Kingsland’s Media Staff is with us to document the occasion on video that we will show to the Kingsland family in the coming weeks. Please pray for the Patterson family as they honor the memory of Diane by officially dedicating and opening the boys home in her honor. And pray for the boys who will one day become godly husbands, fathers, leaders, and evangelists and who will represent the interests of God’s kingdom in one of the toughest places for Christians to live. When God finally unrolls the tapestries of the lives of each of these boys He will also explain to them the beautiful threads of gold and silver He included after the death of Diane, a woman they never knew but who loved the people of India.


Responses

  1. Dearest Omar:

    I just read about this poem and Corrie Ten Boom this morning in Mark Batterson’s book, “Soulprint.” The poem itself could possibly qualify as Psalm 151…amazing truth. Your blog on the subject is excellent.

    Please tell Danae, Daniel and Mark that my daughter, Rachel, I and our entire family are praying for each of them during this time. Our walks in life will be forever intertwined…we love them dearly.

    Be safe in your travels.

    Your friend and brother.
    Jeff Work

    • Thanks, Jeff. I know that the Pattersons appreciate your prayers at this time.

  2. Thank you Omar for these comforting and encouraging words. Still makes no sense and still sad for Marcus, Daniel and Danae. Grateful for Diane’s life and that she will continue to make a difference. Looking forward to seeing the documentary when you and Sean finish it.

    Sandy


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