Sunday, April 29, 2007


Patches....what a cute name for a kitten. Today their are no kittens in my life, only Bondex patches. I buy these knee patches by the case at Wal-mart. I should have stock in the Bondex company; I buy so many. Boys play hard; they push tractors, slide into home base, get down on their knees to look close into the pond. And for some reason the knees are the first to go. The hole starts small, just a thin spot in the jeans. Gradually the threads break, the pant can't hang on anymore, it's a hole. I don't always catch the hole when it's small. I launder them, fold them, place them in the boy's pile. The hole goes unnoticed. The pants are worn again, this time by a new rollerblader. After a couple of falls the hole can't be missed. The hole has turned into a three inch "gash". Again I launder them, this time noticing the need for a patch, but I fold them and return them to the pile to be put away. I don't have time this week to patch them, I'm out of patches anyway. Finally threads are actually hanging from the hole. Some are three inches long. It appears that more of the pant is torn than together. I cannot ignore it any longer. I must repair the pants. I must put "patches" on the list. I must make a trip to Wal-mart (blah!). I must get out the iron and ironing board and repair those holes. Today was that day. I patched three pair of pants. I didn't want to. Get out the supplies, keep the littles away from the hot iron, line up the patches just so. Not a big deal. But it takes some time; time I'd rather spend reading or baking or heaven forbid lounging. But now it's done and I feel good. My boys can play in relatively decent looking clothes again.

(Notice the patches on top of patches, far left jeans)

(Notice I haven't fixed the camera date stamp, yet)

While ironing on patches, I got to thinking, this is a whole lot like sin and confession. Sin starts small - a judgement here, a gossip there. It happens so easily, so unnoticed. After months of this behavior the sin can't be laundered and ignored anymore. It needs a serious patch. The kind of patch where you check the bulletin to see what time confessions are heard, you write it on the fridge calendar in red ink, you plan all week making sure nothing gets in the way of 4:00 p.m. Saturday. There's the usual preparations, examining your conscience, maybe even writing a few things down (if I'm going to confession, might as well make it a good one). The patch, well it's not something you can buy at Wal-mart. God, with his Fatherly love for us, wraps his arms around me and squeezes. I've been patched. My sins have been forgiven. Although, it's not over yet; I still have to put away that iron and ironing board. Penance will give me the chance to make wrongs right, the chance to be aware of the grace offered by the patch, the chance to allow myself to play hard again. My holes are patched; I'm like new again. Praise be to God!