Monday, March 31, 2008

HAVE THINE OWN WAY, LORD - Part 1 - March 29, 2008

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will.
While I am waiting, yielded and still.
Adalaide Pollard, 1907

I am not an artist skilled in working with clay, but I do love to play with it once in a while. Clay can be expensive, so when my kids were tikes, I made my own play-doh with a recipe passed around my group of friends. It involves salt, flour, food coloring, and a few other secret ingredients. To my relief, it was much easier to clean out of the carpet than the real Play-Doh. Whether it be clay or homemade play-doh, it’s just pure fun to squish it between my fingers, make my handprint, with all the lines and creases, and shape and reshape it into balls and ropes. Artistically, that’s about as far as I ever got with this medium.

In high school, however, I did have one brief encounter with clay in art class. I made an unusual looking pot. My art teacher, Mr. Graboski, took interest in my pot (I think he must have felt sorry for me) and enthusiastically directed me to do different things to make it more interesting. Under his tutelage, my pot had numerous uniquely shaped openings. Personally, I thought it was ugly, but Mr. G couldn’t wait to get it fired and see the final masterpiece. Unfortunately, the kiln malfunctioned and every pot in the batch melted into oblivion. I was crushed.

So it is with a wee bit of hesitancy that I again pick up clay, if only metaphorically, and fashion it into a series for your reading enjoyment.

To begin, let’s get to know the Potter. Our Heavenly Potter has been working in clay ever since he created Adam, “of the dust of the ground (actually, one part dust, two parts water) and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” (Genesis 2:7) During a prototype planning session, God proposed, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.” And so it was that, “God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; man and woman he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27)

One of the first questions pondered after a baby is born is, “who does he or she look like?” Our curiosity must be inherent in our very nature, since it seems that family resemblance was important to God as well. Think about your spiritual family resemblance—you look like God! Well, the gene pool has been tainted over the eons, but in some sense, we still retain a smidgeon of God’s DNA.

It is a loving God who fashions us on his wheel. Recently I had lunch with Twila Beahm, a local artist who has found her niche in clay. As she talked about working in clay, her face shone with joy and her eyes glittered with emotion laden tears. She tells me that the clay speaks to her, that it has a mind of its own. When she remembers to listen, allowing the clay to express its longing for existence, she is always awed by the results. Twila takes no credit for this, stating firmly that it is God who is at work. Creating in clay is very much a spiritual experience for her.

In several places in the Bible, human beings are referred as “jars of clay.” Being fashioned into a pot is a strenuous, painful process. This shaping and firing, waiting and yielding is—the PITS! But it’s comforting to know that God wants the best for us—to be like Him; to have the very character of Christ. Just as the potter carefully chooses the clay, so God has carefully chosen us (“You did not choose me, but I chose you.” John 15:16). I am not a mistake, nor are you. We’re handmade by a “hands on” God who loves us and wants the best for us.

1 comment:

biblelucid said...

God has carefully chosen us.
God loves us and
wants the best for us... Amen.