The Carpet Dance

A few years ago, I was living in Melbourne, Australia and went to see the Netherlands Ballet  (  It had been a hectic few weeks and I was wrestling with the decision as to whether, after eight years of living Down Under, I should stay and put down roots or move back to the U.S.  I always found the ballet inspiring and wondered if the evening might hold some clue.

When the lights dimmed and the dancers entered, each carried a small carpet rolled under his or her arm. Some unrolled theirs and languidly laid them down, others wrapped themselves up as with a cloak, while still others just froze in place.

Suddenly, giant rugs with abstract designs were lowered from the rafters and hung like colored paintings in the air.  The music began. Their Special Carpet

The dancers weaved gracefully in and out among them.  Some embraced one like a lover.  Others rolled frantically inside a smaller rug, while still others lay motionless on theirs as if in a sacred sleep or meditation. Oblivious, the remaining troupe whirled around the stage ever more intensely lost in their own world.

The Dance of Life
The dance seemed to me just like life.  We move in and out of seasons, sometimes passionately engaged, other times frantic, sometimes frozen with uncertainty.  Then, thankfully, every now and then, we pause, disengage and rest, while life thunders on.
That evening, the ballet did, indeed, “unfold” some inspiration for me.

Discovering The Design
Several months later — in combination with many other decisions — I did move back to the U.S. “Coincidentally” the carpet theme was to surface again shortly after.  It was a women’s retreat and the speaker compared life to a carpet!  She said while the back of a rug was a maze of threads and knots, ugly and chaotic, pulling in all different directions and making no sense, the front part displayed a beautiful design, full of color and harmony.  If one focused on the back, the image was anarchic, but in the front, those seemingly random maze of threads weren’t random or haphazard at all, but necessary to shape the beauty and harmony of a particular design.

Hand Woven in Huatulco 
Ever since, these carpet metaphors have held special meaning for me.  The photo above is of a carpet I bought in beach town called Huatulco, located about 350 miles south of Acapulco on the west coast of Mexico.  Huatulco has perfect weather and 36 unspoiled beaches with translucent water, coral reefs and tropical fish…a true paradise.

I rested so wonderfully in Huatulco that I bought this carpet (one of five!) to remind me of the experience.  This one is especially beautiful because of the variety of colors and shapes– just like life.  Woven by hand, each strand was carefully picked and entwined using an old fashioned loom.  I watched the workers skillfulknit using both fingers and feet.

Carpets of Calm
Today, when I go on vacations, I like to bring back a carpet as a reminder of not just the location, but the interlude of calm.  I pray that, today, each of you can roll out a carpet of your own and have a moment of rest.  Maybe just reading this story has been a little break for you.

The Master Weaver
And remember, God is in the business of weaving the chaos of our lives into a masterpiece.  Keeping our eyes on Him — the Great Designer — we will begin to experience a greater order, beauty and purpose than we have never known.


“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  (Romans 8:28)
“Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.”  (Matt 11:28)

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven.”  (Ecc 3:1)




  1. Great analogy. Read with special interest as we, too, own exquisite Huatulco carpets which after this story, will be nice reminders of the masterpiece after the chaos.

  2. In carpet construction the unseen structure hold and supports the beautiful face
    that we respond to. Without that there is not carpet, and in time wears thin
    and ages. Sounds like our life as believers. Thank you Marion.

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