Saturday, September 22, 2012


From the Featured Devotional "Perfict Piece"

   Folks visiting New York City today think the traffic on the streets is a problem---and it can be. But a few decades ago, the traffic on the sidewalks could be just as dangerous, at least in the one-square mile section bounded by Fifth and Ninth Avenues and 34th and 42ns Streets. Why? Because that section of New Your City ---south of Central Park in lower Manhattan---is the world-famous, historic Garment District (increasingly referred to as the Fashion District).

   The sidewalks in the Garment District used to be filled with runners, pushing and pulling large racks of suits, dresses, overcoats, sportswear, winter wear, and formal wear between shops, studios, and stores. If you weren’t careful, you were as likely to get run over by a garment rack on the sidewalks as a taxi in the streets. The sidewalks in the Garment District are still bustling today, though with fewer garment racks since less and less manufacturing of clothing is actually being done in the District today. But the Garment District is still the world’s commercial capital of fashion.

   When New York City was America’s only large city, everything happened there including, in the early 1800s, the manufacture of clothing for Southern slaves. Then the Civil War created a need for hundreds of thousands of uniforms for the Union Army, and they were made in New York City. As more and more people began buying clothes instead of making their own, the Garment District solidified its hold on garments---both design and manufacturing---in the area now known as the Garment District. Only with overseas outsourcing in recent years has manufacturing in the District declined somewhat. But the Garment District is still the heartbeat of American fashion and for much of the world.

Patterns and Pieces

   Regardless of what kind of garments are being created in the District---whether haute couture (French for “high fashion”) destined for the runways at Fashion Week, or children’s clothes destined for the backyard sandbox---every garment has something in common: they are created from patterns and pieces.

   A fashion designer may draw the initial design as a completed idea, but the final product is the result of many pieces, cut from patterns, that are sewn together. If the garment is a custom, bespoke item made to fit a single customer, expert tailors cut the pieces from cloth by hand before handing them to a seamstress. If the garment is destined for retail shops across the country and thousands of copies are planned, the pieces are cut by computer-controlled cutters from stacks of cloth, producing scores of pieces at a time.

   Weather by hand or by computer, the result is the same: pieces of cloth that will ultimately be stitched together to make a beautiful and useful garment. Will the day come when a single garment can be fashioned from a single large piece of cloth---one piece for one garment? I haven’t heard of the being done---and I’m not holding my breath. The only way to get stripes, checks, and other design elements to match up perfectly is to cut and sew the pieces by hand.

   Not surprisingly, the same is true when it comes to fashioning the garment we call life.

The Master Tailor

   Suppose I had ordered a new suit that was to be delivered on Friday afternoon to my office so it would be ready for me to wear on Sunday morning. The delivery person arrives with a box instead of a typical garment bag. Inside, I find a collection of pieces of cloth and a note: “Sorry we didn’t have time to sew your suit together. The pieces are all here---you should be able to stitch it together with no problem. Good luck!”

   Good luck indeed. You might be able to handle that task but I certainly could not. It takes a master tailor to sew the pieces together properly. And the same is true with the pieces of our life. Only God is able to take decades of “pieces” from our experience and create a garment of beauty, purpose, and uniqueness---the only life of its kind in human history! God is the Master Tailor who fashions the garment we call “You.”

   In this issue of Turning Points we will look at how God does something far more amazing than anything a human designer and tailor can do---take the past, present, and future pieces of our lives and fashion them into a garment that begins to look more and more like the image of Christ.

   You and I may never have the need, or the budget, for a custom-made suit of clothes from the best tailors in the Garment District. But we have something even better: a custom-tailored life designed and created by the Master Tailor Himself!

From: Turning Points Magazine & Devotional, August 2012, By Dr. David Jeremiah
Turning Points