The Gift of Prayer and Comfort
by Jean Masiowski
When I was diagnosed with metastatic kidney cancer in May, 2005, our long-time friend, Dave, decided to knit a prayer shawl for me. I knew nothing about this project until several months later when Dave invited Ernie and me to meet with himself, his wife Pat, and their granddaughter Brianna in the park. Sitting at a picnic table near the Duck Pond, Dave surprised me with the wonderful gift of the prayer shawl. I had never before heard of a prayer shawl and assumed it was a shawl I would wear when praying. Dave explained that prayer shawls are part of a ministry in which the knitter prays each time he/she knits. Many blessings and prayers were knit into it. Dave had never knit before, but had learned how in order to knit this shawl. Also, he enclosed a copy of information about prayer shawls and the ministry. What a beautiful gift!
In the months and years that followed, I was often feeling weak and ill with treatments, and spent many hours wrapped in this cozy shawl while I read, meditated, or prayed. The shawl still awaits me on the back of that chair, ready to surround me during times of retreat.