Tuesday, March 16, 2010


There is a silly irony in the fact that when I was in college I wrote an angry letter to the chaplain saying that pottery had no place on a high alter. Silly boy! How funny that decades later I would be making pottery like this for altars all over the place!

But we grow don't we. We are in a constant state of becoming. And God is in a constant stance of encouraging our becoming.

The vegetable garden is now uncovered from snow and the work has begun to drag off last year's mess so that the soil can be overturned with the hay from the chicken house. I have high hopes for my garden, just as God has high hopes for my becoming. But becoming is slow work.

Slowly I can see the results of my upbringing - good and bad and ugly and lovely. Slowly I am learning what is good for me and what is bad for me. Who is good for me and who is bad for me. Who loves me and who uses me. Who is speaking hard love to me and who is speaking soft lies to me. Or is it "whom?"

The good thing is that every day I get just a little better at living life just like the pottery grows and becomes my vision for it with every turn of the wheel-head. As I spin on the pottery wheel of life, it becomes very important what and whom I let form me. We can so easily think that without God's invitation to our formation we are simply formed more slowly. But I am sure that is not the case. Other things form us in the void. Other people. Other interests. That is why our Lord's Prayer refers to "things left undone" without skipping a beat from the "things done" line of the confession.

As I dig through the garden I can see all thoose dead weeds. I wonder what more my garden could have been last year had I worked harder on the weeds. Things left undone.

This year's garden will be better. Less weeds - more vegetables. This year's relationships will be better. Less weeds there too.

My pottery spins under my fingers. I hope and pray my life spins under God's. And it does, most days. And every year and month and day that passes, I get better at recognizing counterfeit potters trying to touch this clay God is making into something - a vessel I think. A becoming.

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