The Master Weaver's Plan

Tuesday, September 01, 2015


This poem, known by many names ("The Master Weaver's Plan", "The Weaver", "Tapestry Poem", "My Life Is But a Weaving", "Upper and Under Side", "The Weaving") has long been one of my favorites. Though we will never, in this life, have a full answer to to the "problem of evil" and suffering in our lives, these words are a beautiful invitation to trust in God even when his goodness is beyond our comprehension.

"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." -1 John 1:5

Though commonly misattributed to Corrie ten Boom (who loved this poem and would often quote it), the original author is unknown with certainty. This popularized version of the poem seems to have been adapted from an earlier original poem.

Abby Yochelson, a Library of Conference Reference Specialist, has written a fascinating letter about her research into the poem's authorship. While unable to determine the original author with certainty, she found perhaps the oldest surviving version of the poem, published in the July 27, 1892 issue of The Somerset Herald. It was a longer poem called "Weaving" by Florence May Alt, from which this version likely originated. Thanks to the person who commented below to bring this to my attention.

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P.S. I have left my original graphic below for those who prefer it to the smaller one above.


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 underside.

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.

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2 comments

  1. I love this poem, too, but it was not written by Corrie Ten Boom. In fact it was apparently published in 1892, the year Corrie was born, and appears to have been written by Florence May Alt. You'll also see it attributed to other authors including Grant Tullar (that's who Corrie thought wrote it, but there's no actual evidence for that), and a minister named John Banister Tabb, and even someone named Benjamin Malachi Franklin who lived many years after this was published. Just thought you'd like to know! :) http://www.theworshipbook.com/blog/lyrics-whodunnit

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    1. Thanks for letting me know and for linking to that fascinating research piece! I have updated the post accordingly.

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