One of the parts of pottery that most people do not see is reclaiming, or reworking clay so it becomes usable again. Taking dried out clay or a pile of mistakes to make it into usable clay is the reclaiming process. Reclaiming takes place in a simple bucket with clay at the bottom bathed in water.
Have your hands ever been really, really messy? Do you make a ‘fine mess’ while making your favorite treat? Do ‘little hands’ help you make kitchen creations while dusting all the other surfaces with flour and laughter at the same time?
My best friend of 20 years and I share a recipe for homemade pizza dough. We add the basic ingredients and throw in sunflower seeds, parmesan cheese, flax seed or anything else we have on hand to make one fine and delicious mess. After the dough has risen for 10 minutes in a warm spot, I turn it out onto a board to pat out the dough. I have made such a big mess that, by looking at it covering my hands, I have contemplated how exactly I was going to turn on the water faucet to wash it all off. But, making a mess is so much fun and it is worth it.
In the Studio
Reclaiming clay is a big mess, too. In the pottery studio, I reclaim old, dried out bits of clay to form new, workable clay. First, the chalky pieces go into a 5-gallon bucket of clay until it makes a full bucket. Then, water pours in until the surface covers the clay, fully immersing it in water. Over several days, the water slowly breaks down the clay into smaller particles. The potter pulls the wet, oozing clay from the bucket and smears it across the work table until it dries out enough to wedge it into large clay balls ready to be used again.
Our spiritual lives can parallel that same process. When we turn over all of our dried and tried out efforts to God, he immerses them in the Holy Spirit, represented by the water. We take part in an exchange process for each sin, admitting to our own selfishness to find his perfect and selfless way. Because of Jesus, we can turn over our need for control for trusting in God who has everything in his hand.
Behold, I am making all things new! Revelations 21:5
Can you name a ‘bit’ or piece that you are holding on to that would be better to turn over to God? Does fear or anxiety turn your stomach in knots, when God wants to hold all of your worries instead? The hard and messy work of finding fullness and wholeness in Jesus starts by turning one false belief at a time to God. It can be a mess to reclaim each of the individual bits and turn them over to God, but the results are so worth it, friend!