Pottery is one of my loves when it comes to earthly things I appreciate and find beautiful. I have a small collection of pieces I have purchased through the years, some pieces given as gifts, and some pieces I inherited from my Daddy, who was an antique dealer. The photo of the beautiful yellow bowl under the blog title is a special pottery piece to me. It is a small bowl I purchased a few months ago from a craft festival in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was not expensive, but I loved it at first sight. It didn’t have a price tag on it, and I wondered if it would be beyond the pocket money I had set aside for that day. So I found someone who could help me. She explained the glaze on this pottery bowl was an original recipe by a lady potter, who had recently passed away with Alzheimer’s, and they were not able to obtain her recipe before she became ill. That enticed me more about the bowl, and I inquired about the price. I was thrilled when she said $6! I gladly paid the $6 and she wrapped it in a couple of pieces of paper and put it in a paper bag with handles for me.
My husband and I continued our tour of the festival and eventually were ready to catch the bus that would take us back to our car. It had rained most of the day, but that had not hampered our spirits. We say, “Any day in the mountains is a good day!” So with umbrella in one hand and the bag with my one purchase on the wrist of my other hand, I started to step up onto the bus. Somehow I stumbled making my first step, and the bag containing my pottery bowl slid off my wrist. Then I heard something crash at my feet. I bent over and picked up my bowl bag and boarded the bus broken hearted. I knew my beautiful yellow bowl with the one of a kind glaze was broken. I could not even bear to open the bag and unwrap it to see how bad it was. I just knew it was broken! Part of me wanted to cry over my bowl, but I held the tears inside and prayed. I told my Heavenly Father that the bowl was so special to me and I was sad it was broken. Then I thanked Him for sharing it with me even for a short time.
I was hoping somehow magically it would be in one piece as I eventually got my nerve up to take it out of the bag and unwrap it. When I unfolded the paper that was meant to protect it, I found my bowl in two pieces! I was so thankful it wasn’t in many pieces! I put the two pieces together and I thought the bowl might be repairable---I thanked God! He knew I was delighted with that beautiful bowl even before I laid eyes on it. I carefully wrapped the bowl back up and placed it in the bag and put it in a safe place. I decided to do some research on pottery repair. It took me a couple of weeks to get my nerve up again, purchase the product, and attempt to put my bowl back together. I prayed and asked God to steady & guide my hands as I attempted to put the two pieces back together. Very carefully I put the glue on one broken edge of the bowl and gently pressed the other side to it, trying to be ever so careful to match the sides as perfectly as possible. It took the glue product 24 hours to completely cure. I would go and check on the bowl every few hours and gently but firmly press the bowl pieces together so the scar from the break would not be very noticeable.
As you can see looking at the photo, the outside of the bowl shows no evidence it was broken. If you take your hand and gently rub the inside of the bowl, you can faintly feel and see the break line of the two pieces that now make this pottery piece. Though not perfect, this piece of pottery is even more precious to me now because it was broken and put back together by an amateur repair person.
Now for the real theme of this blog: We are all broken vessels. We are born broken because our natural human birth is from the line of Adam after his fall. No matter how our parents try to love and protect us, and no matter how we try to protect ourselves, we are broken. We arrive broken and life in this world promises more brokenness. The reasons and ways we can be broken are numerous. They can be devastating and even life threatening. But I have great news! There is a Master Potter and no matter how broken we are, He can put all our pieces back together if we give ourselves, and our brokenness to Him. When He heals us and puts our pieces back together, there may be scars inside and sometimes outside. We become beautiful and we have always been treasured by God, our Father.
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].
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand… [Jeremiah 18:1-6]
We are then beautiful pieces of pottery which contain the sweet fragrance of Jesus Christ and He can be poured out to the world from our bowl.
1But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere, For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which exhales] unto God, [discernible alike] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing: [2 Corinthians 2:14-15]
If your life seems to be broken in pieces, don’t despair. We are here to help. Contact Crossway Ministries and we will be glad to walk with you, as you give your broken pieces to God, our Heavenly Father. Allow Him to heal you from the inside out as only the Master Potter can do.