FOCUS: I am the Potter; You are the Clay


A potter works for many hours to mold the clay into a beautiful piece of pottery. When finished, the piece is smooth with all the little pieces removed and the finished product is as perfect as the potter can design it. The potter is the designer of a glob of clay. What will it become? What about the clay? If the clay is too hard or too wet and cannot be molded correctly, will the finished piece made by the potter be the best it can be?

If we read the quote from the Bible “I am the Potter…you are the clay,” we have a better understanding of this scripture. God is the potter of each one of us. He designs each one of us in a special way just like a potter does with his or her clay. We are designed just like a unique perfect piece of pottery. But, what if we, as the clay, just will not be molded into perfection? Will the potter be able to use us? 

If a piece of pottery is put on a shelf and is never used, it may be exquisite, beautiful and as perfect as the potter has made it. However, if the piece of pottery is taken off the shelf and used for a variety of occasions, it may get nicked, cracked or broken. Glue may put it together again, but it will never be the same. Maybe the piece that has been damaged will be used in a special way by someone who reflects on its beauty and usefulness even if it is not perfect.

I want to share a story of the talking teacup. It was shared by Emilie Barnes who loves to collect teacups. This story may help someone who is facing a difficult time with life. I hope you like the story. The author is unknown.

A husband and wife were shopping at a store for a birthday gift for their granddaughter. The grandmother found a beautiful teacup on the shelf. She put the teacup in her husband’s hand. The sunlight from the window shined through the teacup and made the china translucent, illuminating the delicate design. “Oh, isn’t it pretty?” sighed the grandmother? As they gazed at the beautiful little cup, the grandmother and her husband decided to purchase it for their granddaughter. At that moment, something happened. With a clear and sweet as the painted nosegay on the saucer, that teacup began to speak. “I thank you for the compliment,” the teacup began. “But you know, I haven’t always been like this.”

The teacup began to tell its history. “I was not always beautiful. In fact, I started out as an ugly, soggy lump of clay. But one day, a man with dirty, wet hands started slinging me around, pounding me on the worktable and knocking the breath out of me. I didn’t like this procedure one little bit. It hurt, and it made me angry. “Stop,” I cried. “But the man with the wet hands simply said. ‘Not yet!’ Finally, the pounding stopped, and I breathed a sign of relief. I thought my ordeal was over. But it had just begun.

“The next thing I knew, I was being stuffed into a mold—packed in so tightly I couldn’t see straight. ‘Stop! Stop!’ I cried until I was squeezed too tight to utter a sound. Parts of me oozed out of the mold, and he scraped those away. If I could have talked, I would have screamed.

“The man seemed to know what I was thinking. He just looked down with a patient expression on his face and told me, ‘Not yet.’ I was then plunged into the dark and then the temperature began to rise. The air grew hotter and hotter, until I was in agony. I still could not talk, but inside I was yelling. ‘Get me out of here!’ I heard the voice, ‘Not yet!’ 

“Just when I was sure I was going to be completely incinerated, the oven began to cool. Eventually, the man took me out of the furnace and released me from that confining mold. I relaxed. I even looked around and enjoyed my new form. I was firmer. I had shape. This was better.

“But a short lady in a smock pulled out tiny brushes and began to daub paint all over me. The fumes made me feel sick, and the brush tickled. ‘I don’t like that,’ I cried. ‘I’ve had enough. Please stop!’ “Not yet!” said the short lady with a smile. Finally, she finished. She picked up her brushes and moved on. The first man picked me up again and put me back into the awful furnace. This time was worse than before because I was not protected by the mold. Again, I screamed ‘Stop!’ and the man said, ‘Not yet!’ Finally, the oven cooled once more, and the man came to open the door. I was almost done in. I barely noticed when I was picked up and put into a box and jounced and jolted some more. When I finally came to, a pretty lady was picking me up out of my box and placing me on this shelf, next to a mirror.

“And when I looked at myself in the mirror, I was amazed. No Longer was I ugly, soggy and dirty. I was shiny and clean. I was beautiful—unbelievably beautiful. ‘Could this be me?’ I cried in joy. It was then, said the teacup, I realized there was a purpose for all that pain. You see, it took all that suffering to make me truly beautiful.” 

There are many wonderful short stories, scriptures and reflections in “Minute Meditations for Women” by Emilie Barnes. You will receive a lift with each story, scripture and meditation.

There is a plan and a purpose for all our lives. There are hills and valleys, ups and downs, trials and triumphs. Each step in our lives helps us to grow and learn. Each trial and triumph molds us into what we become. For every darkness, there is light and hope.

As you look in the mirror of your life, know that you have a special purpose and that you are important to your family, your community and to the world. The potter who made you knows how important you are, and you are loved. We need to ask God what His purpose is for us. We need to relax, pray and walk the path God has chosen for each one of us. We need to look and see where we fit into God’s will for our lives. What is God’s plan for each person He has created? God loves us individually and plans for us to be special, beautiful, and successful in the mission He gives us.

I leave you with this message. Do not count how many years you have spent, just count the good you have done. Remember the times you have lent a helping hand, the friends that you have won. Count your deeds of kindness, the smiles not the tears. Count all the pleasures that you have had… but never count the years.   – Author unknown

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