One of my students passed this story on to me. The original author is unknown. (Thanks Becca.)
As I faced my Maker at the last judgement, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles. An angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that was our life.
As my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares were. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult. Many were the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life. The hardships that I had endured were the largest holes of all.
I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. My angel continued sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.
Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.
My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I had not had all the earthy fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and death, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.
And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was. I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes. Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ.
Then our Lord stood before me with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, “Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.”
May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through.