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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: TEARS - (as in crying) (10/04/04)

TITLE: Softening the Clay
By L.M. Lee


“God, I am sick and tired of this! When are YOU going to do something?”

I simply could not take it anymore! I was desperate for a change. Every effort I had exerted over my situation for the last fourteen years had failed.

In fact, if I heard one more person say, “As soon as you forget about it, God will move,” I was going to reach down their throats, rip out their vocal cords, tie them in a knot and throw them in the nearest dumpster!

And now this! What incredible nerve! I can not believe the audacity of some people. Just who the blanky-blank did she think she was?

I bolted out the store ramming my shopping cart with a dynamic force powerful enough to intimidate any Caterpillar earth moving equipment. Charging through the parking lot, I lost my footing and then with all the synchronized precision of a slow motion replay I watched my arms frantically flapping air for support, legs sliding out at 45 degree angles and heard the painful thud of my derrière splattering on the pavement!


Okay, I could not explode with the list of excellent four-letter superlatives clawing at the back of my throat for release; this was, after all a public parking lot inhabited by families escorting minors. Instead I took the appropriate recourse women have relied on for centuries to express emotional trauma, I wailed!

Not one single person seemed to take notice of my tirade. No one stopped to help me. Several people took extra caution to walk a wide berth around me, covering their children’s eyes and ears. No one wanted to come near this hysterical banshee.

Eventually I gathered myself. Rising I listened to the stretching rip of my panty hose. Great! Dirty behind, torn panty hose, strawberries bleeding on my palms and my shopping cart just dented someone’s Mercedes. Can today get any better?

I made it home, unloaded the car and managed to put up my purchases without further incident. Just then the phone rang. It was my best friend. I unloaded my angst.

“What is wrong with me?” I asked her, “Why can’t I get through? What am I missing?”

“I don’t think you’re missing anything,” she offered.

“Yeah,” I countered, “but if I wasn’t missing something God wanted to teach me, wouldn’t He have answered my prayers for deliverance by now?”

“How do you know He hasn’t?” she offered.

“Great,” I shot back, “If this is the answer to my prayers, God has His hands full with me. If I’m clay and He’s the potter…He’s dealing with a dried-out sun-baked knot head. How is He ever going to mold me into a more Christ-like vessel?”

“How does a potter soften clay that he’s working with?” she asked me.

“With water, ” I mumbled preparing myself for a lecture.

“Then that is how God will soften you as He molds you,” she pointed out.

“What’s He going to do, stick me out in the yard and hose me down?” I sarcastically retaliated.

“No,” my dear friend continued, “You’re so silly! He is always a gentleman. He opens the bottle of your tears, pours them gently over you and begins..."

Be merciful to me, O God, for man would swallow me up;
Fighting all day he oppresses me.
My enemies would hound me all day,
For there are many who fight against me, O Most High
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust;
I will not fear.
What can flesh do to me? All day they twist my words;
All their thoughts are against me for evil.
They gather together,
They hide, they mark my steps,
When they lie in wait for my life.
Shall they escape by iniquity?
In anger cast down the peoples, O God
You number my wanderings;
Put my tears into Your bottle;
Are they not in Your book?
When I cry out to You,
Then my enemies will turn back;
This I know, because God is for me.

Psalms 56:1-9 (NKJV)

© 10-4-04 Lissa M. Lee

Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight10/11/04
Nice entry Lissa! I used the same verse but different application. I like the thought of God using our tears to soften the clay.
Lynda Lee Schab 10/11/04
I loved this! Loved the real story-telling, touch of humor, and how you closed with the scripture at the end to drive your message home.
Great job! Blessings, Lynda
Judith Gayle Smith10/11/04
How many of us can relate! Enjoyed this muchly...
Rose Gingerich10/11/04
Great story! Did that really happen to you. If it did you must have been humiliated to say the least. I was laughing yet felt the pain the poor lady must have been going through. You did a great job and I liked the message in it. God needs tears to soften the clay of our life to mold it. Well Done!
Blessings, Rose
Joanne Malley10/11/04
Nice article. Love the reference to God using our tears to soften us. So very true.
Lucian Thompson10/11/04
Lissa, I am so glad I never said to you, “As soon as you forget about it, God will move,” Oooo, I can just feel the pain of your fist ripping at my vocal cords! Ouch! You sure ended it on a high note, though. Great article!
Norma OGrady10/12/04
Bravo Lisa
Yeshua bless
Teresa Lee Rainey10/13/04
Lisa, I enjoyed this so much. Loved your title, your characters, their voices, the humor, the message... Great job.
Sheila Boyd10/13/04
I have been there! It was only after I cried myself silly, that I realized God does not respond to tears, self-pity, or need, He only responds to faith. By crying it out, I had emptied myself of all the above, and my own strength and could totally and completely lean on Him. Having done all to stand, stand therefore and you will have what you are standing there for. Excellent article.
Nita Frazier10/13/04
After reading thie I did not want to read an other entries. I usually read them all, then vote. This is a good bit of story telling. I especially liked the line about God being a gentleman. Thanks for the read.
Zillah Williams10/13/04
Oh Lissa! Powerful stuff! So interestingly written and with a gentle truth sneaking in at the end.
Glenda Lagerstedt10/16/04
Love your humor, love your willingness to share your struggles, and love your faith despite the obstacles.