Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Saris and Shuttles

If you travel to the north of India, you will see the most magnificent saris ever made, and Varanasi is where the wedding saris are hand woven. The gold, the silver, the reds, the blues—all the marvelous colors threaded together are spectacular.

These saris are usually made by just two people-a father who sits on a platform and a son who sits two steps down from him. The father has all the spools of silk threads around him. As he begins to pull the threads together, he nods, and the son responds by moving the shuttle from one side to the other. Then the process begins again, with the dad nodding and the son responding. Everything is done with a simple nod from the father. It's a long, tedious process to watch. But if you come back in two or three weeks, you'll see a magnificent pattern emerging.

This is an image I always remind myself of: we may be moving the shuttle, but the design is in the mind of the Father. The son has no idea what pattern is emerging. He just responds to the father's nod.

Ravi Zacharias, Walking from East to West, (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2006), 27.

Image: Colorful pattern on Ravi's book cover.