Last week at the library I randomly picked up The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau and illustrated by Gail DeMarcken. It had such pretty whimsical illustrations I thought it would be a good one. We sat down to read it and were immediately enchanted.
It’s the story of a selfish materialistic king who wants everything. Finally he discovers there is an old woman in the mountains who makes the most beautiful quilts. More beautiful than any quilt. But she won’t sell them. She only gives them to those who are in need.
He demands a quilt but she refuses. She tells him to give away some of his stuff and with everything he gives away, she’ll add to the quilt. He grudgingly does so and then is swept away by generosity and happily gives everything away!
It’s a beautiful story of the power of generosity and giving.
This week, when we were at the library I noticed The Quiltmaker’s Journey. This is the prequel to the Quiltmaker’s Gift. It’s the story of how the Quiltmaker became…the quiltmaker.
She was a pampered child in a walled city full of prosperity and wealth. One day she ventures out of the city and sees poverty for the first time in her life. She is grieved by the un-even-ness of her city and theirs. So, she returns to collect her wealth and confront the leaders of her town.
They are appalled at her and her desire to help others. They say, “Just don’t look at the poor and then you won’t have to think of them!” They banish her and she leaves the town penniless. Soon she discovers the only thing she can do to help others–sew. And she begins her ministry of quiltmaking for others.
After being in the Dominican Republic, these books really came alive to me. I don’t want to be the same after what I’ve seen there. I don’t want to hide my eyes from the poor and needy. And I want my children to understand the same. I want them to see their comfortable life as a means to help others. It reminded me of a video by Brooke Fraser after she went to Africa with World Vision…
These books started a great conversation about how we can help others. Lydia suggested without any prompting that we give away all of Asa’s baby clothes so other babies could have clothes. Then she suggested we find all the baby toys in our house to give away. It’s not much, but it’s a start!
How do teach your kids about generosity?
linked to Feed Me Books Friday at The Adventure of Motherhood