Like a Clay Vessel Imprinted by the Potter

ClayMugSmallAs I write this I’m sipping green tea from the mug pictured. I have this special mug from which I like to drink my coffee and tea. I like it because it’s a good shape and size, the handle also giving a comfortable grip, but the biggest reason is that the mug is handmade. On a vacation we found a potter’s shop where the artist was selling what she had crafted. The mug was priced at $15, as I recall, a bit pricey, but I purchased it anyway.

Pottery that’s not mass produced but individually made usually has the marks of its maker. Sometimes the artist leaves a palm print on the bottom. In this case the potter stamped her unique symbol along the bottom edge near where the handle is attached. I see that symbol often as I sip my beverage, and think of the potter who made it, also recalling other potters whom I have seen work. What they do is amazing, taking soft clay and forming it into something useful and beautiful.

It can be a sacramental moment, holding a handmade clay object, when we let it remind us that we’re to see ourselves as formable clay in the hands of the Supreme Potter. A clay vessel poorly made has no beauty and is of little value and use. The talent of the artist is key. God is perfect in who He is and what He does, including what He makes. God doesn’t make junk!

The big difference between the clay of the potter and us as the Supreme Potter’s clay is that, unlike inanimate clay, we can cooperate with or resist the Supreme Potter’s hands upon us. This is why a good prayer to pray would be one something like this: “Lord, I want to be soft clay in your hands. Mold me and make me into a vessel that brings glory to You and is of use to You. Amen.”

Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand…” Jeremiah 18:6

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