I plop down the clay to wheel. Trying to remember as much from the demonstration as I can. Pressing foot against pedal the wheel begins to spin. The clay wobbles, off center. I press hard, hands against clay, adding water as I go. I stop, unsure of what to do, and wait for help.
The clay fights you. It pushes to keep off center, wanting to go its own way. You have to keep it wet so it doesn’t harden. The instructor makes his way helping me center it. Keep your hands attached to each other he tells me. When the clay finds its center it seems to relax. I can mold it more easily. Yet it doesn’t take much for it to pull away from center once again.
I am not a potter, but in the hands of an artisan potter beauty emerges. From this dull and lifeless piece of grey beauty emerges.
We are all infected and impure with sin.
When we display our righteous deeds,
they are nothing but filthy rags.
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall,
and our sins sweep us away like the wind. Yet no one calls on your name
or pleads with you for mercy.
Therefore, you have turned away from us
and turned us over to our sins. And yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, and you are the potter.
We all are formed by your hand. (Isaiah 64:6-8 NLT)
I never realized how difficult it was to work with clay. As I sit, hands covered in clay and frustrated at my inability to work the clay, Holy Spirit whispers, You are clay.
I am clay. How often do I push against what God wants to do in me? Instead of patiently waiting for His plan I rush to do it myself. He knows I am off center yet still he holds, working to bring His plan to light. Just as the instructor teaches to keep both hands linked while working with the clay, God never lets go.
You must work the clay with patience. Whatever awaits in the lump of clay cannot be hurried. We can’t always see what God is preparing, what beauty He is creating. How often do I rush, making plans instead of being still and allowing Him to work?
As the potter wets the clay, He gives water not only to refresh but to keep us from hardening. Rain sent to refresh while storms remind us to stay focused on him. We need them both to allow His potter’s hands to mold us.
It is a daily thing this centering to the hands of the potter. When we do there comes such a peace. A peace in knowing the beauty He is creating is more amazing than we can imagine.
Have you ever tried pottery? Have you ever seen someone demonstrate pottery and thought of these verses?