Stitching Together Threads of Hope: Prayer Shawls Comfort Hospice Patients

December 15, 2011

On Nov. 29, Mary delivered more than 35 items to Providence Hospice of the Gorge. “My husband was a hospice patient” says Mary, “I knew they could make a difference.” 

Providence hospice nurse Colleen Ballinger says the patients are truly touched by the generosity of strangers. “We provide comfort on all levels, physical, emotional and spiritual,” says Ballinger,” so this donation helps us care for the whole patient.” Gifts were also made to other local organizations such as the Oregon Veterans Home.

Mary is part of a Prayer Shawls Ministry, a large network of groups throughout the country that combine the passion of knitting with power of spiritual practice. By knitting prayer shawls, preemie hats, and cancer caps, these women are providing hope to those who so desperately need it, one patient at a time. Yarn and supplies are donated, and each item comes with their signature blessing:

“This handful of prayers was made for you guided by

God’s love, to bless you with healing, strength

And peace entwined in each stitch.

May you find comfort

From all that appears too much to bear at this moment

Form all that feels as if it might be the breaking point

From all that seems to threaten your peace of heart.

May you be strengthened

In your daily comings and goings

In your tentative new beginning

In your unfolding new memories.”

“I don’t get out as often as I used to, so knitting prayer shawls helps keep me active while providing a service to my community.” Mullins said.

For more than 30 years, Providence Hospice of the Gorge has helped hospice patients live their last days in comfort and dignity, surrounded by the people and things they love.