You are the Potter,
I am the clay
Mould me and make me,
This is what I pray.
The words we pray and sing are not always meant or clearly understood because if we did, we probably would be more careful about what we really wanted to convey through our words. Being clay in the hands of the Potter is not as comfortable as we perceive it to be. It is a gradual process that if we learn to accept rather than fight, it would mould us and make us into what the Potter has envisioned us to become.
Even before being set on the wheel, the Potter has to first prospect raw earth which He knows will stand the test of time. His selection process is not based on availability but on utility. Notice how, even when God asked Moses to build the tabernacle, He asked for acacia wood and not just any other type. The interesting feature of this tree is that there are no straight branches to make straight planks of, yet He had need for this crooked-branched tree to build His house. It is very resemblant of how the Father has chosen us, the unlikely ones with broken pasts and lives to make His home in. Similarly, the clay is not just any kind but by precise selection.
Once selected, the raw earth has to be put through a sieve to remove all unwanted elements that pollute it. It has to be made clean and rid of small stones and unwanted debris. This initial cleaning process prepares it to be made into clay. We are made of earth and similarly, God sieves us to remove the unwanted things that hinder our being shaped into what He wants to make us.
He uses His hands sometimes even His feet to mix the earth with water. The movement of the once free-flowing directionless mud is now arrested and begins to bind to itself forming a mound of pliable clay. The water combines it and makes it ready to be shaped.
Finally, it is placed on the wheel and the Potter begins to spin the wheel around. The clay cannot fix its eyes on one single image anymore. The world seems to be spinning out of control; everything is passing by in a haze. It feels like there is no stability in what is happening; confusion abounds. Everything seems uncertain. While all of this is happening, all you see are glimpses of the Potter.
Until, He reaches out and touches the clay. He gently places one hand on the outside and the other on the inside. And not once, after this, does He take His hands off the clay. Even though it is painful it is required so that the clay would develop a shape. The hand on the outside is for the support that the hand on the inside needs to define the shape of the vessel. He is committed to ensuring that it is not only good from the outside but the inside as well.
The process this far seems agonizing because loose particles of mud go through this ordeal of being constricted by shape. It loses its old identity and gains a new one. It becomes something it never saw itself to be. This identity is given to the clay by the Potter that it will carry for the rest of its life.
Finally after the spinning stops and you see that the clay now has taken form. It is no longer shapeless and ‘a nothing’ but it is now ‘a something’. And it seems like the Potter has taken a rest from working on the vessel; His Hands are at rest. After being placed out in the sun to dry, it begins to feel like it has arrived at its purpose and enjoys the warmth of the sun.
But just when it felt like all was good, it then gets put in the furnace where the heat rises to unbearable levels. The sun was winter compared to this hot blast. It seems like it is too much to bear. “Oh God, I can’t seem to stand the heat anymore!” The fire scorches parts of the baked clay vessel leaving it with burn marks. The colour is not even anymore. But all along, the heat is making the vessel is only stronger. There would come a day in the life of the vessel where its going through the fire would mean that the thirst of a parched man would be quenched.
Right now, all the clay can see is that the fire has disfigured it but it has never been more ready for use than this point. Once out of the fire, it looks at itself and sees that it does not look good anymore. Why would anyone want to buy a burnt, shoddy looking piece of baked clay? It tends to find reasons to complain and grumble as to why it is of no use to anyone till the Potter begins to paint it.
Once again, the Potter’s hands begin to work on the vessel. His personal touch is much required to paint it with many colours. With much patience and careful precision, He fills in the colours on the vessel making it desirable and beautiful. Once it has been painted, the Potter decides the value of the vessel because He is the one who created it and there is no one who would know its worth better but the one who formed it and made it what it is.
What we see is a vessel, that even though was spun, moulded, baked and burned, is now beautiful to anyone who beholds it. What we do not see are the Hands of the Potter covered in clay, His unsightly clothes marred by the dirt, His fingers scorched by the heat of the furnace but He never gave up because He knew exactly what He had to do with the clay and exactly what would be created.
The process is never understood by the person going through it but the Creator knows everything which is why He never ever gives up. When we see defeat, He sees destiny. When we see difficulty, He sees purpose. He does whatever it takes to make us to be the ones to meet the actual purpose of why He made us.
Mould me, Make me,
This is what I pray