A Perfect Potsherd
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My story takes place several years ago. I am not proud of the events that occured, but all I say is for the glory of my Maker.
I was created beautifully and perfectly a while back. I was made a very special vase, with a smooth brownish-tan shade as my base. Swirling patterns of many different colors encircled me from the neck down. I had precious stones inlaid in my neck, and whenever light was shed on them, they gave off a glow in their respective colors. I was a beautiful creation, and my Potter was proud of me.
I myself was aware of my beauty. So in a few days, I considered myself too good for my shelf. I was too good for holding the simple flowers placed in me. I was too good to be around the other pottery. So I told my Potter the words He dreaded the most: “I want to leave.”
Silence enveloped the room, leaving my words to hang in the air like a foul odor. And foul it was indeed. The Potter sighed and removed His glasses. He rubbed his eyes before He spoke. “Are you sure about this? You know that this is the only place where you will truly be safe. There are people out there who will hurt you, and you may never make it back. Leaving this building means leaving your only source of protection.”
I was foolish to ignore what He said. My sense of self-righteousness blinded me to the truth. “I’m sure.” I replied rather impudently.
The Master Potter sighed again. “Very well, then.” He picked me up and took me outside. I closed my eyes as He placed me on the porch, making sure I was alone before I see what the world was like. I Heard the Potter say something to me quietly before He closed the door.
“I love you, my son. I love you.”
I opened my eyes, and what I saw made me gasp in awe. People dressed in beautiful clothes milled around. I’ve only seen my Potter wearing his plain but practical work clothes. I could not believe there was so much variety in what people wear! Music played loud and clear, with minstrels singing to and musicians playing for their audiences. Gorgeous flowers adorned many of the shops, and animals were almost as plentiful as humans. In other words, colors and exotic aromas were everywhere. I could hardly take in what I was seeing; it was all too much!
It didn’t take long for people to notice me. They were all surprised, as the Potter never or hardly ever set His creations outside the safety of His shop. There were other potters in the city, of course, but everyone knew the Master Potter made the most beautiful creations, and treasured each one more than pearls. But in spite of their confusion, they admired me. They commented on my colors and turned to each other talking away about my stones. Then to my surprise, they began to price me. They asked questions such as “How much do you think he’s worth?” and “Look at those jewels! He must be very expensive.” I was proud of myself. Just minutes after I was set outside, and people are coming from all over the city just to look at me. How I loved the attention!
This carried on for days and weeks, but winter was approaching very quickly. I would soon learn a terrible truth that will change my life forever.
The winter began with a drop in temperature. This sudden onset caused people to retreat into their homes to avoid the freezing cold. Then the rain came. How it poured! The storms caused everything to become drowned in water, making the dirt roads muddy and creating miniature ponds all over the city.
I soon became filled with the rainwater, and passing horses and carts splattered my face with mud. No matter how much rain poured on me, the dirt always seemed to find a hold on me again. And to make matters worse, various animals came to drink out of me. Their saliva caused mold to begin growing on me. I was repulsed, but could not do anything about it.
The temperature began dropping once more. The nights made me feel like I was in the arctic, freezing any exposed bodies of water all over the place – which sadly included the water found inside of me. I felt ice forming and pushing against my inner walls, and it hurt so much! Tears welled up in my eyes as I tried to deal with the pain, but all my efforts were in vain. Wet and miserable, I begin to think of my brethren inside the Master Potter’s house. How warm they must be! They are probably chattering away with each other or listening to the wise old Potter tell stories of long ago. And here I am, wretchedly trying to survive what is probably the harshest winter to hit the area.
Desperate for Help, I cried out to the Master Potter. I doubted He would hear me through the howling wind and the walls of His secure house, but I was in too much anguish to care. I vowed aloud that if He would come and take me out of my predicament, I will happily and faithfully serve Him for as long as I live.
Then I let my consciousness slip into darkness.
Unbeknownst to me, the Potter had heard my cry. As I sat there crying out, He had already begun to put on His winter wear and prepare to come out and take me back in.
The Master Potter endured the harsh cold and bitter wind blowing across the exposed areas of Hs body, striking Him like nails and thorns. Right after He picked me up, He threw me against the rocks and shattered me into a hundred pieces. The sudden impact revived me and made me aware of my surroundings once more. He reached out and took my pieces into His arms, holding me close to His warm chest. Turning so that He took most of the beating of the wind against His own body, He brought me back inside.
First, He took me to His washing pan and filled it with warm water. Then with His best soap He began to clean every one of my pieces. The warm, clean water felt good as He rubbed the soap over me and rinsed me clean. Slowly all my colors washed away until I was once again a brownish-tan color. Once He had finished, He took me to His worktable. As I watched, He took some fresh new clay and began to form a new vase. Once the basic shape was visible, He took my pieces one by one and attached it against the sticky surface.
It took a while, but soon all of my pieces were affixed to the new structure. He added a few more touches here and there, and spread a thin layer of fresh clay over me to ensure every crack was sealed. I noticed, however, that my cracks still showed through. I wanted to point it out, but thought better of it.
Next, He stood me upright on His decorating table. He picked up his brushes and began to paint new patterns on me. I wondered what it looked like, as I felt His brushes move in the strangest directions, with sudden jerks and turns. But I trusted Him to decorate as He saw fit.
But that wasn’t all. He opened a drawer and procured a small ivory box. When He exposed its contents to me, I became silent with awe. There, nestled among the satin folds, were three lustrous pearls, shining as brightly as the moon on its fullest night.
“These are for you,” He said, “Because I love you and want you to know the best I have for you. Everything you did in the past is the past, and let this remind you of how much I will always love you, no matter what.”
One by one, He attached them to my body, just below my neck. They stuck there and began to give off their soft glow once more. Then the Mater Potter Held up a shiny piece of metal. I gasped at my reflection. Or did it belong to someone else?
The mirror bore the image of the most beautiful vase I had ever seen. A strange pattern covered my body, and it took me a moment to realize they were my cracks. The Potter had used them to create an intricate, unique design the like never seen before. The three pearls shone brighter than my original precious stones, which were slightly scarred by my contact with the rocks.
“Do you like it?” the Potter asked me, eyes twinkling.
“My strength is shown in your weakness,” He answered the question that was still concealed in my mind. “I will take your flaws and show people my omnipotence, for you are the work of my hands, and I will shape you as I see fit. Nothing anyone says will ever change that.”
That’s when the truth struck me. I was perfect before I had become prideful and decided to venture into the wretched world outside. It was alluring, but it didn’t last. I was left alone to suffer when hard times rolled around, and my Potter had to come rescue me. When He broke me, my imperfections and weaknesses became apparent. But He took my weaknesses and flaws and used them for His purpose. Not only does He has the power to heal, but also the power to restore and create something new from the old. I was a potsherd, but in His hands I am made beautiful. In His eyes I am perfect. And His opinion is the only one that matters.
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