By Meghan Baron
Whenever the object of clay which he was making
turned out badly in his hand,
he tried again,
making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased.
Then the word of the LORD came to me:
Can I not do to you, house of Israel,
as this potter has done? says the LORD.
Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter,
so are you in my hand, house of Israel.
God, You want to crush me and remake me?
To be crushed and remade means You will pry Your hands deep into my wounds.
It means You will discover the impurities and imperfections I have amassed during my time on the potter’s wheel (and what if you can’t liberate them?) It means you will have to knead me, move me, mold me, change me.
What if I don’t know how to maintain the new shape you give me?
I don’t WANT to be crushed and remade. I can do this myself.
And You say “My love, just let me!”
But I tell You I’ve been crushed before. Crushed under the weight of men whose last names I’m not quite sure of, who do not care about me now and won’t care about me tomorrow, so I close my eyes and pretend I’m far away. Crushed under the weight of my career and my continued education because in this realm, I am successful. In this realm I am competent, powerful, revered. In this realm, I believe I am in control. Crushed under the weight of anticipating an engagement, then suddenly anticipating when he will come over and pick up his things. Crushed under the weight of resentment, greed, anger, and shame. Crushed under the weight of my own sins because I can handle this on my own. I’m okay.
But You know me, and You know I’m not okay. I am cracked and breaking. I hold no water. I offer no support.
And still, You say “My love, just let me in. I don’t need a new piece of clay. I want you. I have a plan for you. Oh, it’s beautiful. Just wait and see! I will not discard you, I will hold you, I will nourish you, I will bring the water to you. I will breathe new life into you. I will hold you in my hands and I won’t stop molding until the good work is finished. You just have to let me.”
So I relent and I let you into my cracks because my resistance is futile.
I’ve done this dance before – I retreat, you advance, I retreat, you advance, knowing all the while that eventually I will surrender, but you don’t get tired of chasing, never tire of seeking. You pry your hands deep into my wounds and discover the impurities and imperfections. You knead me, move, me, mold me, change me. It hurts – becoming a new creation. It hurts, but I am safe. I am held. I am joyful that the morning brings beautiful things. You work gently around areas that require tenderness, and press firmly into my stubborn pride. You remind me that You will do this over and over again if necessary.
You remind me that in you is hope, redemption, and mercy.
You remind me that your knowledge of design is greater than all of my weakness and flaw. Unbroken clay surrounds You, and You choose me. And I am grateful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Meghan is a Cleveland native, currently working as a nurse in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and completing her masters degree to become a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. She belongs to St Clement parish in Lakewood and spends the little free time she has exploring hidden gems in CLE, reading & painting, and gathering around a table for good food and good conversation with her loved ones.