Sweat beading down his forehead, hands covered in mold.
He was nearly done.
Smooth. Smooth. Mold
And he was so close! The pottery was almost finished!
And now it’s marred.
He straightened his back and threw his hands in the air in frustration. All the hours of hard work and gentle molding wasted. He looked at the marred pottery and shook his heads sadly, fighting back the tears.
He was surprised at the intensity of the emotions that washed over him; he wasn’t this emotional. It must have been the strain of work that was getting to him. Plus he had nursed high hopes for the work in hand. He had been excited because he was trying something new; it was like nothing he had ever done-and each work is never the same.
‘‘God!’’ he exclaimed. The picture in his mind before embarking on the project had been perfect. But this, looking at the marred pottery, this was far from that perfect image.
His apprentice was looking at him from across the room, and thinking it was over moved to clear the mess from the wheel.
But no, no he had misinterpreted his master’s gesture; his frustration did not mean it was over. He had not given up on the lump of clay. In fact a new idea-a better idea-was already forming in his mind.
He shook his head at the apprentice gesturing him to leave it be- and smiled at him, his tear filled eyes twinkling with excitement.
He looked down at the marred pottery and the picture of what it could be filled his mind, followed closely by a wave of pain and regret-it would never become a reality. But never mind, something better will be replacing it.
The clay was still wet; it was not beyond fixing. Well, not fixing but remodeling, refashioning, renewal, re-birth.
So, leaning forward, he set to work with a renewed fervor on the renewed project. Moments later, he was lost in his work, oblivious to everything around him.
Hours passed, and he wasn’t even aware of it, his face bore no hint of frustration; just pure pleasure, and excitement, and hope.
The young apprentice stared at his master astounded. He couldn’t understand it. His patience was unnatural, his faith in the lump of clay, his hope and dedication.
‘He never gives up’ he wondered.
The broken pottery could not believe it too. It stared wide-eyed in a state of daze. Initially, it had been full of hope, daydreaming about how amazing it would be when it was finished. That was before it got marred.
Then it had been despair that prevailed: Hopelessness reigned, hope was shattered; all was lost.
But not anymore.
The potter has put his hands back on the wheel. There was hope.
And then as the wheel started spinning again, hope soared, increasing with each revolution. The potter was gently but firmly kneading it; and when the pain came again, it was a welcome feeling. The pain was good; it meant the potter was still at work: that he had not given up. It meant that the future was not bleak but glorious…
[“Can I not do to you as the potter to the clay? Says the Lord…” Jeremiah 18:6]
Dear Lord, I know I am broken and marred and… but I also know that I am not beyond fixing. Please Father, fix me-break me, mold me and fashion me into the best you want for me.
Dedicated to all who are broken, hurt and agonizing over the past, stuck in the present who see no way out, no hope…
Go to the potter’s house…go be fixed.