Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco is an endearing tale about being in the right place at the right time.
Jonathan Jefferson Weeks’ father is a pastor. He leaves his church in Memphis to bring back a lagging church in Detroit, Michigan. Jonathan does not want to move. Upon arrival, the whole family pitches in to reviving the church–painting, landscaping, washing, repairing the walls, etc. The church began to grow. By Christmas, it was almost finished. One more painting on the wall would finish it off.
Then a big snowstorm hit and a huge hole was left in the wall! Luckily, a plasterer was available on Christmas Eve. Jonathan is distraught over the hole but his father assures him God has a plan.
The next day Jonathan and his father take the bus into town to pick up Christmas decorations. They see a wonderful tapestry for sale in a store window and buy it. It should be the perfect size to cover the hole in the plaster!
It is very cold and snowing. At the bus stop, a little old lady offers them to share hot tea and cookies with them. She lives far away and Jonathan’s father offers to give her a ride from their house. She accepts. When they arrive back home, Jonathan hangs up the tapestry before taking the old lady home. The old lady recognizes the tapestry as one she made 60 years ago in Germany. It was the canopy over her and her husband on her wedding day. They were rounded up by the Nazi’s shortly after their wedding and she never saw him again. She insists they keep it to cover the hole.
The next day is Christmas Eve and the plasterer shows up to look at the damage to the wall. The old man recognizes the tapestry as the one his bride made back in Germany before the Nazi’s took her. They race Mr. Zukor, the plasterer, to the old woman’s house where a reunion of joy takes place.
Jonathan learns why exactly they had moved to Detroit, why the plaster fell, why they took the bus and shared tea with an old woman.
This tale is adapted from tales. The circumstances of the coincidences are highly unlikely, but it illustrates how God can do the impossible. I think it’s good to read stories that stretch the realms of possibility so kids can believe in the impossible, dream of better things in this world, and push themselves to achieve what they themselves do not believe they can.
Great story of how hindsight and the passing of time reveals to us the reasons why things happen in our lives. Great lesson learned by Jonathan of trusting God and His plans when we cannot see them. An uplifting and heartwarming tale for Christmas or any time that brings God’s ways into our lives and reminds us of His complete control.