Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Lump of Clay

I often say I am fascinated by creativity. I know that each of us is creative but I am rather partial to that type of creativity that I am not. I am not an artist. I don't even hang pictures up in my house or pick colors of paint except when forced. It amazes me how we all have the same hands and brains and mouths and yet some can draw anything; others can sing with beauty; and still others can design. I can't even decide how to arrange my furniture. I love the story about how we are clay in the hands of a potter even though it is hard for me to relate to creating something beautiful and artistic. The first reason I like it is because it uses something incredibly ordinary to create beauty. Clay is simply dirt taken from the ground. In Genesis God says that we were essentially formed by dirt and in the verse about the potter God says that He is still forming us as though we are dirt. Clay also has no power at all. It is a lump of dirt waiting to be dealt with. This reminds me that God holds the power of the universe and that, no matter how much I want to be in control, I am in God's hands. Clay does not have its own plans; it has no aspirations and gives itself wholly to the artist. Clay is most pliable when mixed with water and I am at my best when I yield to the Spirit of God and when I am in fellowship with other lumps of clay. I also like that clay is most often made into something useful. I have a deep desire to be both used and useful. Clay cannot mold itself, but needs the direct contact of the potter’s hands to mold it into what he wants, and what he determines will be most useful. It is shaped by his hands. When a potter begins to make an object, he wraps his hands around the clay as it spins, and then squeezes the clay so it will begin to take shape. The same holds true of us. We are squeezed and molded until we become what He desires. And then comes the  part I would want to skip entirely. Clay must be put through the fire to be of lasting value. I have felt the fire lately; actually for a long time. I have to remember that the fire does good; that I am being worked on by a master creator. The process is painful--but good.  I ask myself, Do I trust the potter with this life I have? Do I trust Him when all is falling down and apart? Do I believe that the finished product will be worth this pain. Some days those questions are harder to answer than others.

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