I was struck by a devotional this week, read in staff meeting by our dear friend and church secretary, Elinor. It was titled “A Bit of Clay.” The whole reading was narrated from the perspective of a lonesome bit of clay, lying for ages on the side of a Galilean road. This clay, seemingly useless and made for no exact purpose, became the tool in Jesus’ hand to heal the eyes of the blind man in John chapter 9.
The clay asks the reader, “Are you thinking there is nothing you can do? Oh of yourself that is true […] I was that way until the Master touched me long ago on that certain day. His touch made all the difference. And if he could use me, a bit of clay, he certainly can use you, too.” It proclaimed that it too was helpless, useless, and lifeless prior to the touch of the Master, and just as it was transformed in His hands, so too His touch transforms us.
Aren’t you that bit of clay, just as much as I? Truly, we await that sacred touch. That moment when he nears us, bends down to pick us up from the ground at his feet, and then forms us into something beautiful in the safety of his hands.
It makes me think back to a small group activity I experienced years ago. Our group leader gave us each a small canister of Play-Doh. She asked us to form the small glob into something that represented us and displayed our personal journeys in life–including the hurts as well as the joys and points of growth. We all took a perfectly shaped cylinder of the Play-Doh out of the little yellow containers and began to mold. The heat of our hands and the grip of our fingers began to shape and form something new. People pinched small portions of the dough and removed them from the rest, signifying parts of themselves that they felt were hurt or taken from them in pain. Others took clumps of the dough and demonstrated adding them to the rest, showing what they feel they have gained and learned. Some formed cracks in their dough, while others made symbols of restoration. All were different. All were significantly personal.
I thought back to that activity as Elinor read the words of that devotional piece. We are the clay in the Potter’s hands. Sometimes we feel his grip, his molding force, his stretching us. Other times I think we focus more on the warmth and security of his hands, as there is no better place to be.
So I thought about some simple pieces of pottery that I own, and how they began as clay–simple, brown, and shapeless. But through the skill of the potter’s hands, they became these gorgeous pieces.
If you are interested in the devotional I spoke of, simply click here on A Bit of Clay.
Blessings to you all, my bit-of-clay friends.