One Gray Square
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    “One Gray Square,” Friend, April 2020

    One Gray Square

    “For the body is not one member, but many” (1 Corinthians 12:14).

    Friend Magazine, 2020/04 Apr

    Illustrations by Brenna Vaughan

    “In through the top loop, bring the yarn through, catch the yarn a second time, and pull it under two.”

    Mariana chanted softly as she wove the yarn around her crochet hook. The rhyme helped her remember the steps. She glanced around. Some of the moms and daughters had finished already! She tried to make her fingers work faster. She wanted to make sure she got done in time to see the beginning of the general women’s session of conference. But the crochet hook was slippery, and the gray yarn kept getting tangled.

    Mom had taught Mariana how to crochet so they could help with the stake Relief Society project. Their stake had a goal to crochet 500 squares. The squares would then be joined together to make quilts. They’d be given to hospital patients, people without homes, and anybody else who might need a warm blanket. Mariana was excited to help. But what if she didn’t finish her square in time?

    Mariana kept crocheting. In through the top loop, bring the yarn through, catch the yarn a second time, and pull it under two.

    “Looks like you’re almost done,” Mom said a few minutes later. Mariana counted each row of stitching. Mom was right! Her square was the right size! Mariana finished the row she was on and proudly held up her work.

    “Way to go!” Mom said. She showed Mariana how to tie off the last bit to avoid loose threads. Then Mariana was done!

    Mariana skipped to the front of the room. A table was stacked high with finished squares. She stopped and stared at the colorful mountain of bright, fluffy squares. They were every color of yarn, and they all looked straight and even. They looked like they had been made by experts!

    Mariana looked down at the plain gray square in her hands. She had messed up a few times. It was crooked on one side, and not nearly as pretty as the squares on the table. She thought about shoving her square in her pocket. With all those pretty, colorful squares, no one would miss her lumpy gray one, right?

    “Is that another square for us, Mariana?” Sister Garcia smiled and held out her hand. Mariana gulped. But she nodded and held out her gray square.

    Sister Garcia cleared her throat. “Sisters? May I have your attention, please? We’ve just received our one-thousandth square!”

    People gasped. Then they started clapping and cheering. Mariana’s jaw dropped as she stared around the room. A thousand squares? That was double their goal! Mariana grinned. She knew they weren’t just cheering for her one gray square. They were cheering for all the hard work they had all done together.

    Mariana watched Sister Garcia place the slightly crooked gray square on top of the pile. Mariana felt proud of her square. It was a part of something special! Her square was going to help someone. She hoped that whoever it helped keep warm would feel all the love that went into making it.