PRECIOUS LESSONS FROM THE POTTER’S HOUSE: HIS HANDS
In continuation with my last blog at the potter’s house there is another precious lesson I learned! This lesson has impacted my life and am sure will affect your lifestyle too.
After sharing a cup of hot sweet tea, that his wife made for me. I began my conversation with him in Marathi. I was sitting on that low stool he had offered me and so my eye-level was nearly the same as his, the single bulb threw a dim light on us, but I guess that was enough for him. There was such an honesty in this fellow! His eyes showed his humility and simplicity. He said that he’d learned his trade from his father who was taught in turn by his own father.
He carried on speaking to me. His voice above the din of the old electric motor and the flapping belt that ran the wheel. He said the most important thing in pottery was the soil, and how it is prepared and mixed. And then he took a fresh lump of clay and said that he was making a small vessel for me. I was honoured indeed!
And then he began to do something that changed me to this day. It has marked my life forever. Such was the impact of the potter and his wheel, especially his two hands.
Here is what I learned.
He pressed the clay somewhat violently. Then his hands, so supple began forming it, lifting it up as the pressure on this lump continued. Then suddenly his agile and deft fingers dug in to form a small hole in the centre that he pulled sideways to form the mouth of the vessel. What unusual forces on this lump of clay! No wonder the soil was so important.
The shape began to form. Then the forces changed! One hand was quickly inside the vessel and one hand pressing from outside the vessel. The clay in between slowly and gently yielded to all these various pressures of his co-ordinated hands and fingers…and lo! The vessel came into the shape of his liking.
I watched. I was broken. I was changed in an instant. The simple Truth of heaven rushed deep into my soul from this humble potter’s house. So, what changed me…?
Firstly, the pressures of the hand and fingers on this lump of clay. Secondly, all kinds of pressures…up, down, sideways, pulling out, pushing in…and the clay yielded to this all! Then finally the hand inside, and the hand outside with the clay in between yielding to the potter’s mind and design. The last bit so tenderly done, so delicately shaped and so perfectly deliberate.
I will never forget this applied truth.
The more yielded to God we are the more God can ‘work’ with us and in us. We think that our lives on earth is likened to ‘spinning’ on a wheel, but every revolution is purposed by a loving God who determines what the next revolution will bring. And the outcome of one revolution determines the outcome of another.
And finally…the hand inside and the hand outside. The ever-yielding lump of clay, at first shapeless and formless and meaningless now perfect in every manner, and beautiful to behold.
“I will always be the hand inside you and the hand outside you, my son!” God told me in a soft voice, above the noises of the physical. The sound of the Spirit was like a trumpet blast, a clarion call to me. And so, this message to you.
Don’t get anxious by the constant pressures on and in your life. Our loving Father knows how to fashion the work of His hands on us. And remember…one Hand forms and works on your outside, your interactions with the world. While the other Hand works on your inner man and the issues of your heart. Both work simultaneously and constantly. Carefully shaping you in His image and likeness!
I went home with a very special vessel that day.
No wonder we are His handiwork!