Thread of Hope


People have sent me the most amazing and thoughtful gifts. This crocheted angel arrived today and made me cry.  The friend who sent it to me visits an inmate on death row. She enclosed the winged one in the card that she sent, writing an intriguing story about the man who had made it. She has visited him for half of his 40 years in prison which is a huge commitment. His story is heartbreaking. When I worked with my friend many moons ago, I was in charge of a section of a magazine that linked inmates to pen pals on the outside. Sometimes I would read a request and feel tremendous sadness for a particular situation. Once in a while, I would come across a scenario that was one of injustice and I believed the person had not committed the crime, as is the case with her friend. This story reminded me of those letters and of a friendship with an inmate that I visited at the penitentiary near me.

I find that one situation will trigger a dozen other life events for me, as if I am living magnified in a tumbler spinning out of control. Life gets compacted into seconds. Anyway, I linked the letters to this angel to my current prison ministry and found great solace as I cupped the crocheted cherub in my hand. my friend was paying homage to me by saying that as with her friend, I had taught her much about courage, perseverance and grace.

As I read his story, I am humbled to be compared to such a man. Because I have not asked to share his story, I will not here, but suffice it to say, that he has had a challenging go of life. When I searched his name on the Internet, I was disheartened to read more about the injustices he is facing. He has never really known a stable life but maintains that he did not commit the murder that he is accused of. For many years, he passed the time in prison by creating crocheted art. He asked my friend to share his angels with those who need a reminder that God loves them. In this Spirit, she gifted me with one, reminding me that the Spirit of Life makes a way out of no way.  As I touch the strands I will recall that there is always a thread of hope, even in the darkest night.

The arrival of this gift was perfectly timed.  I have had a rough day emotionally. I met with my supervisor and began to pack up my personal belongings from my office. I had not expected it to be as hard as it was but suddenly the impact of closing my career door in an untimely manner slammed me in the face. My supervisor has been one of my favourite bosses in my life and I am grateful for all the support she has given to me over my tenure. I have learned a lot about grace, flexibility and affirmation from her.

From that experience, I moved on to another meeting and at the end of it, the priest involved suggested that the work that I was doing was going to be blessed because I was doing it with great freedom, which meant that we both understood that I will not benefit directly from the tasks that I am doing. I am helping to scatter seeds, knowing full well that I will not see the flowers coming up in the garden years from now. Tears flowed once again.

I came home to find the remarkable story of how this angel found its way to me and again, cried. Yes, these threads of hope will sustain me. I name this angel Hope. I join with this man who has suffered more greatly than I ever will, wrongly accused, sentenced to death, and left for decades in a cell. I pray for all those who need hope in their lives. I still believe in Hope and this winged weaving will be a visible sign that God will make a way out of no way.



Reflection Questions

What gift that you have been given has special meaning to you?

What thread of hope are you hanging onto?


You who makes a way where there is no way startle us into believing Hope endures. Under the darkness of night, the winged one flies to our aid. How blessed are we!



About sstyves

A Canadian prairie girl rooted in Ignatian spirituality, I seek God in all things. Whether I catch a glimpse of the Divine and delight in its presence in nature or in the beauty of an encounter with someone, I am ever so grateful that I can recognize the Creator. I greet each new day with hope and happiness, expecting blessings and miracles because I am created to praise, love and serve God. This blog is one way of realizing that through my writings, prayers, and photography. To God be the Glory!
This entry was posted in #Consolation, #Miracles, #prayer, #YearofMercy, Catholic, Christian, Faith, Ignatian, Spirituality and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Thread of Hope

  1. Karen Wheadon says:

    Suzanne, I have not read your posts in a couple of days and have missed them. Something was wrong and I couldn’t receive my emails last couple of days. Your stories and thoughts on love and hope will stay with me and I know I will reread your posts many times in the future. I feel one way your work on this earth will continue is through your writings, such an amazing gift. I hope your writings will be published one day. Remember how I used to say that to you some years ago:)

    We are currently in Ho Chi Min City. Crossed overland boarder in to Vietnam after long bus ride from Phnom Phenh a couple of days ago. We went to see the Killing Fields and also prison S21. What an emotional day it was for me. The horror of the Cambodian genocide will stay with me for a long time. I have wondered about those who managed to survive amidst such horror….they must never have given up hope.

    I can’t imagine Suzanne how difficult it must have been to pack up your work belongings, I know it’s not the career closure you once hoped for. We ask, where does that inner strength come from in such time of need…..but then you know you are safe in God’s hands….as you say, God has this.

    I too, pray for all those who need hope in their lives. Your story of the crocheted angel is a beautiful one, so special.

    Thinking of you today, Sending you love, Karen💜

    Sent from my iPad


  2. sstyves says:

    Hi Karen! I am glad that you are plugged back in. It will be nice to see some photos and see how the trip is going again.

    I am aware that people may wander back here, looking to spend some time with me after I am gone. That is part of the reason I have been trying to write as much as possible here. As for the book….we will see. I may make it a priority in the months ahead. If not, the blog will have to suffice.

    The resilience of the people in our world is remarkable. Hope is not a remedy for the weak of heart.

    Thanks be to God for faith and hope. I will go back into the office for a cleaning up of my files now. That should be a little bit easier. In my office, at eye level were these words–remember how blessed you are–and I did as I slipped the hanging into my bag.

    Happy trails! I look forward to seeing more updates. xo.

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