I made a friendship bracelet for myself on my pre-ordination retreat, as a focus and enactment of my prayers and thoughts. I know that you’re not really supposed to make yourself a friendship bracelet, but I wanted to do something concrete as well as prayerful and meditative. It’s a good 15 years since I’d last made one, and even now sitting with a bunch of embroidery threads safety-pinned to my jeans transports me back 30 years to when I sat on the grass by lake Llangorse one summer’s evening, being taught by a girl I’d fallen madly in love with (as you do). But I digress…
Anyway, the bracelet is symbolic really, in that it represents something more than itself. Not only the prayers I prayed as I made it, but also that each colour has a significance, which picks up the traditional or liturgical associations for these colours.
- Green reflects God in the ordinary and everyday.
- White is about holiness and purity (doubled up, cos I really need it!)
- Purple is because I am serving the King of Kings.
- Red is for the Holy Spirit and power.
- Black is because I have a dark/shadow side, which is also part of who I am, and which will be part of my ministry.
As I knotted it over the retreat, I prayed to commit each particular area of life or ministry to God. For instance as I made the red ‘fish’ (pictured) I prayed for the Holy Spirit to work with me and through me in the ordinary, as a servant of the King, in my failures, and so on.
When I put it on each morning, it’s a little aide-memoir that I’m now ordained. During the day it catches my eye, or I can run my fingers over it and recall the prayers woven into it. I guess I wear a cross on a necklace for a similar reason – i.e. to remind myself of whose I am (and I’ve blogged about this elsewhere eutony.net/2010/09/19/remember-member-member/).