This past Friday I looked in the mirror and saw a broken woman. I looked at her face lined with sadness and happiness. The face she earned by surviving life. This day the blue eyes were tired with no hint of the spark resting deep in her soul. I know the spark is there. I lived her day on Friday.
Friday was a good day. The half day at work ran like a well-oiled machine. I raced through the traffic to get to the father’s day lunch at dad’s ALF. I was dreading the lunch. Dad had been in one of his delusional states on the phone the evening before. On Friday at noon I did not know what I was walking into. Was he happy or paranoid? I was as nervous as the proverbial cat in a roomful of rocking chairs!
Dad was a little confused but in a happy mood. It was good to be together eating and talking. Even though my caution with his moods never leaves me, I enjoyed these lucid moments while I could. Afterwards, I ran errands and made a few phone calls. The tiredness set an ache into my bones. It had been a busy, contentious, and stressful week. I ran an Epsom salt bath. As I soaked my mind wandered through the novel I was reading.
After my bath, I found the broken woman in the mirror. I said to my reflection. “I am broken.” Then I turned to God. “God, I am broken.” It was nothing more than a simple admission…a statement of fact. I know God knows this about me. He knows this about everyone.
The image of the Potter and the clay came to mind. I thought of the loss of friendship several months ago. At the time I couldn’t get out of my head the phrase “my friendship is broken.” In dealing with dad’s paranoia and the painful memories long-buried, I’ve thought several times “He (dad) broke me.” I know I can’t fix any of this.
Again my thoughts returned to the Potter. I asked, “Lord how do you use someone who is broken?” I was still thinking of God as the Potter, our Maker. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground…” [Genesis 2:7 KJV] He creates a perfect child. The broken people and leaders around us do everything in their power to break us. I thought how God has guided me and I hope used me to bless others in this world. I thought back and realized I have been broken for a long time. So how does he bless others with a broken vessel?
A broken vessel can still hold and share living water. I remembered an old story about a woman who carried water in two jars attached to a rod spanning her shoulders. Every morning she went to the village’s water well and filled both clay jars with water then walked home. When she got home only one jar held water because the other jar was cracked. Someone finally asked her, “Why fill that jar with water when it leaks? You have no water to use from that jar.” The woman pointed to the path from her home. “See the flowers along the path?” She asked. Without her cracked (broken) jar she would have less beauty in her and her village’s world.A small piece of broken pottery called a sherd was not wasted in biblical times. The sherds were used to scrape out the hearth or scoop water from a cistern:
Crashing like a potter’s jar smashed beyond rescue, And among its fragments cannot be found a sherd to scoop fire from the hearth or dip water from the cistern. [Isaiah 30:14 NABRE]
For me today I can be broken and God can still scoop small portions of the word of God to feed the soul. I am still valuable to the King in my own small shattered way. But there’s more…
Jeremiah 18:1-6 (NABRE) describes how God will change our lives if we are willing to allow the hand of the Maker to touch our souls:
The Potter’s Vessel. 1 This word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 Arise and go down to the potter’s house; there you will hear my word. 3 I went down to the potter’s house and there he was, working at the wheel. 4 Whenever the vessel of clay he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making another vessel of whatever sort he pleased. 5 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6 Can I not do to you, house of Israel, as this potter has done?—oracle of the Lord. Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.
God being the Potter means he can reform us into the vessel he needs. There is hope for the broken woman in the mirror. We have to be willing to rest in the Potters hands.
Until this adventure to dream began for me, I did not completely trust God with my life. I have believed almost as long as I can remember. But since starting this blog journey I’ve been turning more to God than I ever have in my life. Today I rest in the Potter’s hands.
May God’s rest and peace be with you today, my friend
To all the Dads out there: HAPPY FATHER”S DAY! Keep up the good work!