“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8

He sits on his stool in the dimly lit workroom along a strip of specialty shops; an empty pottery wheel waits patiently for its new project. The muddy clay lands on the wheel with a solid THWACK! Two strong hands immediately cup around the block and soften the edges. He scoops a handful of water and bathes it over the clay just as the wheel begins to spin. Within moments it grows spiraling in the form of a tornado, but with the elegance of a blooming flower. His hands glide around and around the evolving mold like a graceful dancer sweeping through the air. The wet clay begins to take form: the base narrow, but expanding until it looks as though it grew broad shoulders. To him, a baby had just entered into the world, its little fingers and toes so perfect and beautiful, but with much needed growth.

Combing his fingers through the clay, the mold took shape coiling with fancy ridges. Before he knew it, a large vase sat before him anxious to be used. He gives it a beautifully intricate trim and finishes the masterpiece with his personal stamp of approval crediting his work to him and him alone. He grips the vase firm but gentle as if he were holding an infant as he removes it from the wheel. Before it could be made perfect it had to spend some time in the kiln. The fires attack the vase absorbing every bit of moisture sealing its form and creating it to stand strong. The vase comes out of the kiln warm, dry, and without a single crack. He proudly strokes the vase, glazing it to emphasize its beauty to a point he could see his own reflection.

On display for all to see, people pass some with second glances others too busy to notice. Eagerly he tries to reach out to people, offering his work to those that have a need. The vase merely sits in the window and waits, for how can it work without he who gives it a purpose?

One day an earthquake rattles the town startling every shop owner and passerby. The vase trembles and tumbles off of its pedestal. On contact the rumbling ground slices through its thick clay walls forcing it to fall apart. He winces in sorrow as he inspects the damage. The storm had gone as quickly as it came leaving him on his knees cradling his broken creation.

In pieces, the vase can be of no use to him, but instead of brushing them aside and starting anew, he searches for every last shard.  Delicately, he picks up each broken portion and returns them to the workbench. Knowing his perfect design, he starts at the foundation and begins gluing and piecing back together the vase. His steady hands fill each crack and sliver with glue until every piece could hold itself together. With passion and determination, his vase stands before him once again fully restored and ready to be used. Looking stronger and shinier than ever, he hands his masterpiece to another knowing that it will finally be fulfilling its perfect design.

God Bless!

-LJM

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