Having tried a couple of times to write a post for this morning, and having gotten hopelessly mired in my own rhetoric…I was reminded of a sonnet I wrote a few years ago about the prerogative of the artist to abandon his work if it’s not up to his own standards.
Sometimes we get so focused on everything that’s wrong with our world, that we forget the Master Artist isn’t finished yet. Against all odds, He hasn’t thrown in the towel on His creation.
Take a moment to be encouraged by that today:
Cannot the clay be crushed while on the wheel,
Canvas be slashed before the paint is dry?
Can’t faulty stitch be ripped by knitter’s zeal,
Phrase be erased which fails to satisfy?
The carver, wise and skilled, has perfect right
To scrap the flawed and twisted piece of wood.
The poet stops his fledgling work mid-flight
Because it isn’t singing as it should.
But we, the Potter’s marred, unlovely jars,
No masterpieces…He elects to wet
His hands and work us new. God, who names stars
And knows each sparrow, hasn’t finished yet…
Till we are fit for our unveiling day,
Our Maker–loving, faithful–shapes our clay.
Unlike the potter’s clay or the artist’s canvas, we must be receptive to the Creator’s touch in our lives. WE make that choice. Along the way, even as Christians who have claimed the salvation of The Lord, there are quitters, campers, and climbers in their ascent to the pinnacle of faith. The quitters never go further and remain at the foot of the mountain. The campers go for a while, and stop somewhere between the bottom and the peak. The climbers consistently and faithfully continue their walk toward The Lord. It is in the growth of our faith that we see the miraculous touch of THE Potter’s Hands.
My constant inspiration and a personal favorite:
Philippians 3:12 – 15 (NIV)
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Yes, we can choose to respond to the work of the Spirit in our lives. But ultimately, God is in control. My framework for the poem was much closer to Isaiah 29:16 (“You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, “You did not make me”? Can the pot say to the potter, “You know nothing”?) or Romans 9:19-21 (“Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?”)
Great stuff, GBL……
I will always be a “work in progress”.
Won’t we all?? Thanks, Hatfield!
I found this on my iPad today…where I had copied it back on 6-5-13. Couldn’t remember where it came from, so I searched for the opening line and BAZINGA here you are! I would like very much to reprint this in my inspirational blog, “Truth is…” (deweytruth.blogspot.com), with a link back to the original here. Wilst thou permit it?
Heavens, Dewey, of course you can! I wish I had time to get back to this (or any of the blogs I have languishing at the moment…). Be my guest, and thanks for asking!