Filed under: Bible, Christianity, Church, Fundamentalism, God, Grace, Inspiration, Life, Religion, Spirituality, thoughts, Wholeness
As you know I have been gone for a month. Between the ICCC conference, a week of continuing education and vacation I have traveled to Nashville, Big Sur and the Grand Canyon in August. The culmination of our vacation was our time at the Grand Canyon. One way that we tried to ensure everyone’s contentment was to plan our days around what each of us felt we wanted to do. For Calla and Carol it was hiking and for me I wanted to see the Navajo reservation. So, one day we loaded our rental car with water and a map to venture out into the Painted Desert.
The burnt red rising out of the desert floor was quite spectacular. We stopped along the way to look at fossilized dinosaur tracks and bones, and ate at a native restaurant in Tuba City. Then I turned my focus on shopping. I had heard of the abundant folk art that comes from this region and I was not disappointed. Yet, I like finding a cheap piece that will hold sentimental value, something that would always remind me of our trip. This did not occur until we happened upon a series of booths on a desolate stretch of highway. There were only a hearty few vendors with turquoise jewelry and a few Navajo pots. I spotted three pots that interested me at the last booth inhabited by a pleasant elderly woman.
We had already engaged in a lengthy discussion when I asked, “How much is that pot?”
Instead of answering my question she began a ten-minute story. First, she told me that it was a wedding pot. This woman told me the entire ceremony behind this particular pot. Pouring the water over the bride and grooms hands by a holy man symbolizing that they are made new.
Next she explained how her brother made the pot, by digging a pit, filling it with wood, forming the clay pots, placing the clay pots on the embers, covering them with dung to seal in the heat and when fired finally smearing pine tar all over the outside of the finished pot to seal it. Each black spot on the exterior of the pot are where a coal has touched the pot. They added an extra dimension to a crude looking pot. These black spot turn a blemish into part of the pot’s rustic outward design.
Jeremiah the young, unsure prophet is commanded by the Yahweh to enter the potter’s studio to watch the creation of functional pots. He notices that when the potter finds the clay unwieldy he crushes it down and begins making the pot again from scratch.
The image of God that appears from the prophet’s trip to the pottery studio is quite compelling. It is a vision of God that is not as rigid as some fundamentalists would want us to believe. God as the potter is only as productive as the clay provided. Our willingness to change will be the difference between whether the pot is crushed and started again or if the artisan decides that the piece is worth saving and changes her mind about the destruction of the pot.
Are we willing to listen, be taught and then make the changes necessary for the almighty to change the coarse of human history? It is a compelling question. If in fact you can be taught and turn who knows what wonderful creation God will be able to finish inside of you! What other people may consider a flaw might become an intricate part of your human design.
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