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by Florence May Gibbs

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me;
I may but choose the colors—
He worketh steadily.

– Florence May Gibbs

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me;
I may but choose the colors—
He worketh steadily.
Full oft he weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride,
Forget he sees the upper,
And I the under side!

I choose my strands all golden,
And watch for woven stars;
I murmur when the pattern
Is set in blurs and mars.
I cannot yet remember
Whose hands the shuttles guide;
And that my stars are shining
Upon the upper side.

I choose my thread all crimson,
And wait for flowers to bloom,
For warp and woof to blossom
Upon that mighty loom.
Full oft I seek them vainly,
And fret for them denied—
Though flowering wreaths and garlands,
May deck the upper side.

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me;
I see the seams, the tangles—
The fair design sees He.
Then let me wait in patience
And blindness; satisfied
To make the pattern lovely
Upon the upper side.

Alternate Version

My Life is But a Weaving (The Tapestry)

This alternate version, popularized by Corrie Ten Boom, is of uncertain origin.

My life is but a weaving
between my God and me;
I cannot choose the colors,
He weaveth steadily.

Oft' times He weaveth sorrow;
And I, in foolish pride,
Forget He sees the upper,
And I the under side.

Not 'til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly,
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the Weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.

Poem Backstory

Much confusion has surrounded the source of the poem Weaving, but research shows that authorship of the original version almost certainly belongs to Florence May (Alt) Gibbs. Florence's original version of Weaving began appearing in newspapers and magazines in the United States in 1892 when she was 23.

In the process of time, however, the source of the poem became obscured, appearing in different versions with different titles (such as: The Weaver, The Weaving, The Tapestry, and My Life is But a Weaving), and under different names of authorship or as simply "Anonymous." Most often it was attributed to one of a few different famous persons who made use of the poem and thus became associated with it by their audiences. The poem has, for instance, at various times been attributed to the Catholic priest and poet John Banister Tabb, the hymnast and minister Grant Colfax Tullar, and the Christan author and WWII concentration camp survivor Corrie Ten Boom.

The poem was a favorite of Corrie Ten Boom, who often quoted it or recited a version of it when she spoke.

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Did You Know?

Tapestry weavers see only the wrong side (the underside) as they weave. They use mirrors positioned at the front of the tapestry to see what they are creating.

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