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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Brown (11/26/09)

TITLE: Shaped Like Clay
By Ruth Neilson
12/02/09


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With a wet slop, clay stained hands threw a fresh batch of brown clay onto the potter's wheel. Steven started to spin the wheel, humming softly; gazing at the clay, deciding what vessel would be created today. With practiced ease, he placed his thumbs into the damp clay, laughing softly at the feeling of the clay opening to the gentle pressure.

As the wheel spun, he reflected on an old story that he heard his grandfather tell him about how humans were created. It was an old Cherokee legend, but it made the 'race' issue a little bit easier. Steven closed his eyes, working the clay instinctively, sensing how the clay would move.

The details were sketchy in his mind at best. But if he could remember correctly, each race was born from the same brown clay that he was working with right now.

Steven paused in his work, feeling a flaw within the clay. Violently, he smashed the raised edges down, and pumped the wheel hard as he leaned over and rewetted his hands before starting again. This time, he felt out the flaw within the clay and worked with it, forming the dish more appropriate to the clay's strength.

He closed his eyes and started to work again. Steven knew his father had worked hard to blend in with the rest of society and was embarrassed the day that Steven picked up working with pottery. But there was something about working with his hands and to be elbow deep in clay was freeing.

Steven hummed softly; focusing on the bowl that was forming under his hands. He grinned and squinted. The end result was starting to take shape. Maybe, just maybe, God wasn't going to smash him down again to restart.

After all, Steven knew he was nothing more than a lump of brown clay in God's hands.

~~
Isaiah 64:8 (NIV) "Yet O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand."

Romans 9:21 (NIV): Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?


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This article has been read 445 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virgil Youngblood 12/07/09
Your story reminded me of watching natives of Mexico use the most primitive tools to produce beautiful museum quality work. A beautiful reminder of the master's touch as he molds and makes us.
Beth LaBuff 12/07/09
I liked all your "artist details" while he worked the clay. There's a whole message in that!
Jan Ackerson 12/08/09
Well done--short and sweet.
Barbara Lynn Culler12/08/09
I like the analogy, and how the flawed creation gets SMASHED down. Powerful.
larry troxell 12/09/09
love stories about clay in the potter's hands. in fact i attend a church called Potters Place. great job.
Ruth Brown 12/09/09
Very well done, I've always loved the scriptures about the clay and the potter.
Sara Harricharan 12/09/09
Cute! I like it and I especially like the character of Steven. Would love to know more about him. Great job.
Mary Dreisbach12/10/09
Beautifully crafted story. One that will stay with me. Your depiction of the flaws in the clay and the violent smashing and loving reworking is a metaphor I can relate to in my own life. Thank you for the wonderful picture you've presented here.