Life’s Loose Ends

I don’t know about you, but I like to tie up loose ends. The sense that a situation or project has a fitting conclusion makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The room remodeled or the relationship restored has a kind of completion feel that makes my day. However, life does not lend itself towards end strings neatly tied and tucked.

Unfortunately, one tragedy, trauma, or drama after the other waits in a long line. No sooner do we process the current incident when the next crisis steps up to the front of the line, extends its frayed hand, and bids our mental, emotional, and spiritual engagement.

So if we know this, then why do we humans fight this tendency towards incompletion that this world seems to require? Are our lives meant to become finished works this side of heaven? Or would we find more peace of mind if we accepted the fact that living will always have loose ends?

Most of the women in my family crochet. Sometimes we even sit in a circle at family gatherings and talk while we weave together our scarves, blankets, and baby caps. We then give our treasures away. Mom donates her baby hats and blankets to shelters or to the hospital for premature infants. My sister, daughters, and I give our scarves to friends and family.

Today I’m thinking that perhaps hope is the crochet hook that ties one loose end of living to the next. In a scarf project, a loose end occurs when we need to add on more yarn. Maybe the traumas we face are kind of like this. We use hope to string together wisdom gleaned from crisis after crisis. In time, we acquire empathy we can extend to others.

This is a good thing, a growing experience. Our hearts are expanding, lengthening.

I envision the wisdom gleaned through difficult times as an unending line of scarves you make throughout your lifetime. Wisdom provides comfort for others just as the scarves my family makes warm the necks of receivers.

So I wonder whether we shouldn’t fight loose ends but embrace them as a way to gain and then share our experience, strength, and hope*. In doing so, we will all be a bit warmer when the cool, biting winds of tragedy blow.

*Twelve-step Recovery slogan

20 Replies to “Life’s Loose Ends”

  1. Love this Jodi! I tend to want all my loose ends tied up in a neat package. Maybe I’m not taking enough time to reflect on where I have been and what I can learn from my loose ends before I move on to the next thing.


    1. Kay, thanks for adding your insights. I like the way you put that, “God fills everything-all the gaps and cracks.” I guess if we were perfect, we wouldn’t need Him to fill in the gaps.


  2. What a beautifully crocheted post! The loose ends of life contrasted with the beauty of finished works of artistic crocheting or knitting. The photos and the words so aptly describe the unfinished business of life and how distressing it may be. Yet, as we grow in grace and in years, we begin to see patterns that enable us to encourage others to be patient as God continues His work in us. Blessings to you, JoDee…


  3. We love this post. Rick said it was brilliant! It has lots of concrete examples and metaphors that are easy to envision as you read. You “showed” us what you mean with real examples instead of “telling” us abstract ideas. Also, the theme is relevant to real life, and provides real comfort for getting through life’s trials. This is a benchmark quality essay!
    I love you Sissy. Sorry about the “teacherly” response – I just came off a week of teaching and I can’t help myself . My name is Gina and I am a teach-a-holic :-/


  4. I absolutely love this post and the crochetting metaphor, with hope as the crochet hook and loose ends of yarn symbolizing the unresolved things in our life. Great thoughts and words of wisdom.


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