Talking Clay

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“Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’? Isaiah 45:9

If you were raised in a Christian tradition, you’ve heard a sermon or a story or just some old-fashioned advice about this verse. You (the clay) are supposed to let the Divine Potter have His way with you, no questions asked or reproaches made.

And if you can do that, my friend, you are in a deeply connected, profoundly mystical relationship with your Creator and I envy you. 

BUT ALSO

I think it’s time to tell a truth. 
Well, my truth anyway. 

I’m no Isaiah, I’m just Kelly Frances. But the truth is, God DOES work with Talking Clay. 

Clay that asks questions and criticizes His work. 
Clay that whines and complains.
Clay that has a hissy fit and rolls round and round on the potter’s wheel until she falls off <PLOP> onto the floor.

How do I know? 
How do you think I know?

Look, I’m an Asker of Questions, a Maker of Suggestions. (Also, I just really like talking…to God, anyway. People, YEEEE, that’s scary.) I’m not proud of the criticism and the whining, but that’s sometimes just where I’m at. God doesn’t seem upset by this behavior. He just keeps on working. Sometimes He chuckles. Sometimes He answers me.  

And those throw-myself-on-the-floor times? He waits a bit, then leans over and asks, “Ready to come back up?”

And I say yes.
And He puts me back on the wheel.

What I’m trying to tell you is this:
When the Divine Potter works with beautiful clay that yields easily to His creative hands, He says:

I love working with this clay! It’s beautiful!

AND ALSO

When the Divine Potter works with troublesome clay that fights His creative hands and complains and asks questions, He says:

I love working with this clay! It’s beautiful!

As for Isaiah’s “Woe to…”? I like to think of it not as a reproach, but more like an observation. Because, well, I won’t deny that Talking Clay sometimes experiences personal distress that Yielding Clay does not.   

But in the end, both pots are stunning.

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No matter who you are or how you feel or what you’ve done, God loves working with you, my friend. He thinks you’re beautiful.

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