“The word that came to [me] from the Lord: ‘Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel…“
The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Can I not do with you, [Lois] just as this potter has done?’ says the Lord. ‘Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, [Lois].'”
I was your Jeremiah, LORD, a disconsolate servant biding her time, waiting for justice in the land between nowhere and now here. My soul waited for a good word from you, my Creator. I was spoiled in your Potter’s hand… It was you, Creator, that allowed my body to lose its equilibrium, to fall away from a lifetime of mind over matter? You were aware! So it must be your purpose! You don’t waste clay. I am clay in repair….clay in restoration….clay in transformation.
Your lump of clay on the wheel, keen to be mended from injury that reduced me to spoil on your wheel. I felt the gentle pressure of your potters rib at once wringing out the nonsense of my despair and defining contours that demanded my submission if I was to rest in the providence of your Divine Will. What was beautiful to you took my soul’s abandonment to your hand before I would see the beauty of being thrown about upon your wheel.
Round and round my thoughts travelled as your hand reworked me for your intended purpose. I heard your word to me, “Can I not do with you just as the potter has done?…. you are still safe in my hands.” Am I? I am! Chastened for doubting your goodness. Humbled, not broken. Weak being made strong. My clay and my soul, my desire and my will, flattened against the wheel by the weight of glory in your hand. Gently, relentlessly you shape me as you lift me from the wheel to become the vessel that seems good to you!
I’m your lump of clay slowly giving way to the tools of transformation in the Master Potter’s hand; my humanity giving way to your image. What is this rise in my spirit? Submission, anticipation, acceptance? You are working all the disparate fragments of a life past. The loss with its thousand disappointments, the anxiety that handicaps my body, the uncertainties of ability folding in on themselves as you knead hope into my soul. A vessel marred by struggle, strengthened by hope in you. Gently, relentlessly you shape me as you lift me from the wheel and I become the vessel that seems good to you! The wheel slows, your hand hovers over me….you whisper to me “you are beautiful,” and I finally listen.
I see now that as the wheel turns, your wounded hands steady in purpose, dissolve the hard edges of pride. Your wounded hands are at once pouring your blood out upon me and absorbing my suffering into your Passion as you mend and sculpt a chalice…. a vessel worthy for worship.