“He Needs My Service Now,” Liahona, December 2014, 41
I sit at the sewing machine and feed thread onto seams of flannel. Child-print patterns in soft colors decorate the tops, and coordinating colors form the backs of the baby receiving blankets I’m sewing.
Our ward Relief Society assembles newborn kits for poverty and disaster areas. I’m an amateur seamstress, but I’m committed to participate. I enjoy choosing fabric for the project and cutting out blanket-sized squares.
I put right sides of the fabric together, sew around the edges, and leave an area open to turn the blanket right side out. Then I stitch along the edges, clip the corners, turn the blanket so that the colorful sides are on the outside, and stitch up the open area.
I sew along the top of the edges to reinforce the seams. I ease the fabric into place and take off at a brisk pace. As I rush to finish so I can resume household duties, a thought strikes me: “What if I were sewing this blanket for baby Jesus?”
With that thought, I slow down and take great care to straighten the seams. But even with care, the stitching doesn’t run straight.
Next I sew a 10-inch (25 cm) square in the center to secure the front to the back. I make a heavy paper template, center it on the blanket, and lightly mark around it. I put the fabric in place, ease down the needle, and carefully sew.
When I’m done, I clip the threads and pull out the finished blanket. It isn’t square—it’s a cross between a trapezoid and a parallelogram.
I set the blanket aside, pull out fresh flannel, and start again—taking greater pains for this gift worthy of Deity. But even with the extra effort, the results are only slightly better. Each blanket I sew is imperfect.
I feel that I can’t take any of the blankets to the collection site, at least not this year. I’ll keep practicing, and perhaps someday I can make a contribution.
Then another thought floats through my mind: “If you wait until your sewing is perfect, the Christ child will be in Egypt.”
I understand. The opportunity for service would be gone. The Savior accepts our offerings when we use our best efforts, imperfect though they may be. I know that a newborn, wrapped in a soft, clean blanket, would not refuse to sleep because the corners aren’t square.
As I contemplate whether my efforts will make a dent in worldwide needs, Christ’s counsel comes to mind: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
So I continue sewing blankets, working to make them as attractive as I can. I know there is a need now, not some vague time in the future when I can sew them perfectly.