Wednesday, May 14, 2008

the potter's wheel

My hands jump up and down on the wheel as I work the moist clay into what I hope will be a bowl. Gray water sprays my arms as I rub my forefingers along the rim.

“You’re making a huge mess,” Twin B. notices.

“It’s okay to make messes here,” our teacher reminds us.

“Yeah,” B. giggles, digging his own hands into the mound of clay centered on his wheel.

A few weeks ago when I asked B. what he might like to do, just the two of us, he immediately responded, “I want to take a pottery class.”

So here we are.

My misshapen bowl bends inappropriately and the more I try to make it stand up straight, the more it lilts to the side. “I think I need to start over,” I moan, ready to wad the whole mess up and begin again.

“Not so fast,” our teacher peers over my wheel, “it’s not over until it’s over. Some of my most beautiful pieces are born out of my mistakes.”

So I keep working with my sagging, sorry looking bowl, but it’s just not coming together.

“You know, if you bend the side a bit more and add a handle, it would make a perfect gravy boat,” our teacher observes.

And she’s right.

I wonder if God ever feels that way about me and all of my mistakes? Does he ever look at my life, shake his head, and think well, now she’s done it. What the heck are we going to make out of that? Or does he know he’s making a gravy boat all along?


FrazzMom said...

I have some deep theological, yet witty, comment about me being a gravy boat instead of some other type of pottery, but I just can't seem to pull it together in my head...

Guess it's time for a cup of coffee (or three!)

Llama Momma said...

I'm right there with you, my friend. :-)

Ted M. Gossard said...

Interesting thought.

I think God does work good in all things in our lives, so that even our sins and sometimes grievous sins as in great transgression (not to encourage such sin at all!) can end up working for our good and his glory and for the good of others as we see God's work of grace in our lives. That we can be a vessel unto honor for God.

Anonymous said...

Do we keep thinking we're supposed to be a beautiful vase, determined to squish ourselves into some kind of shape that isn't what we're suited for? Maybe we think we're supposed to be a cake plate or a wine jug, when we're just supposed to hold the gravy.

Which, by the way, isn't (in my opinion) any more or less humble than a bowl or a cake plate. A gravy meal is usually a *special* meal, like Thanksgiving. And my gravy boat is a very pretty thing that I'm pleased to set out.

Llama Momma said...

Ted -- I agree; God does work it all together for good in our lives.

Ann -- I think this is where I get hung up -- I think I *should* be something else. But maybe God's good with a gravy boat? Not that there's anything wrong with gravy boats...not at all.

The Oho Report said...

I am not as concerned about how he made me but the discumfort of his continually shaping me. Incidents and others God brings into my life that help shape me.

Sometimes I am surprised at His ability to keep bringing the same kind of difficult person into my life. I think He keeps doing it until I figure out how to handle them in the appropriate way.

Llama Momma said...

Oho -- Yes, the pain of shaping and forming is very real. And, of course, difficult people will always be around!

chrissy said...

Amen, well said! How fun, a pottery class!

Lara said...

I love your observations and analogy. Life can be an uncomfortable mess when we're not yielding.

Anonymous said...

I love the song we sing at church that says "Thou are't the potter. I am the clay, mold me and make me after thy way"

Blessings to you!

Mandy- Read. Write. Mom! said...

That's such a great way of thinking about it, isn't it? very well written.