Tie-Dye Faith: A Metaphor

Tie-dye can be a frightening proposition.

Folding fabric, dying sections, waiting hours before you can see how it’ll turn out.

It’s no wonder the girls were so wary. It’s no wonder they felt more comfortable free-hand drawing their designs.

Freehand dyed shirt

Tie-dye takes faith–seeing the finished product in your mind’s eye even when what you’re looking at has little in common with your intended result.

I believed in tie-dye and started using the technique from the get go.


Because I’d read a book of instruction. I’d seen illustrations of how to fold and what the finished result was supposed to look like. I’d had a friend show me his finished product and describe how he’d gotten it.

The girls hadn’t seen this yet. They didn’t have the evidence I’d seen to support my faith.

They were skeptical.

They’d stick with what they could see.

I forged on in faith, evangelizing my little brood liberally. “How about you try a real tie-dye on this next one?”

They made slow steps–little scrunches tied here and there. Still mostly sight.

But as they saw me walking out my faith, as I continually brought my book and its illustrations to their minds, they started to believe my witness.

Tie-dyed pants, in progress

They chose to act on their fledgling belief.

They folded, dyed, and left their shirts–still folded and tied–with me.

When I rinsed out their shirts, seeing the first fruits of their faith, I was in awe.

Bullseye Tie-Dyed shirt

My own faith strengthened, I determined to tie-dye even more, to convert more to tie-dying.

And so their faith and mine mutually strengthened one another.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
~Hebrews 11:1

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