“I shall make my fortune — to be cut bias — the Mayor of Gloucester is to be married on Christmas Day in the morning, and he ordered a coat and an embroidered waistcoat — to be lined with yellow taffeta — and the taffeta sufficeth; there is no more left over in snippets than will serve to make tippets for mice –” -Beatrix Potter, The Tailor of Gloucester
A strange story, maybe, to post here on Christmas Eve, when we have been to church and heard a homily on glory. And yet, perhaps not. For the tailor is “very, very poor,” and ill, and lies “tossing and turning in his four-post bed,” mumbling about the twist which he lacks. The coat which was to have made his fortune must prove his undoing, for even with twist he has neither strength nor time to finish for the Mayor’s wedding. Ah, it is only the grace of “the little brown mice,” who “run in and out without any keys,” which leaves “the most beautifullest coat and embroidered satin waistcoat” where the tailor “had left plain cuttings of silk.” If there is glory at the end of the tale, it is not by the wonderfulness of Gloucester’s tailor.
And so I celebrate the improbable intervention of grace, when time and twist and strength were gone. Grace which not only supplied what was lacking, but also and still takes all our cut pieces and makes them into something more beautiful than we dream.
“Arise, shine; for your light has come,
And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.”