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The Potter and the Clay
"Use me Potter" cried the clay, "your will I'll obey I can serve you so well underground. With my friends full of cheer, I'm so comfortable here in my warm fellowship deep down." But the Potter (nothing said,) pulled the clay from its bed brought it out to be used for his will. To his workshop he carried, that clay so long buried to be shaped by the master's great skill. "Let me go," whined the clay, "for I'd much rather stay down below where I'm safe and secure. For the light is too bright and you don't have the right to inflict these harsh trials I endure." But the clay was deformed, swiftly softened and torn as the Potter's strong hands worked within. On the wheel it was placed, as the Potter effaced the impurities and stains of sin. As the Potter's wheel turned, his fingers soft, but firm began forming the clay inside out. "Not so fast," pouted clay, "If you ask, I will say that my shape's much too ugly and stout." "What are you making me? I know what I'd rather be a wine goblet fit for a queen. Then all men would praise you, your knowledge and talent too when they see how I sparkle and gleam." But the potter knew his trade -- took the shape that he'd made quickly placing it in the kiln's flame. "I asked you to use me, not afflict and abuse me!" sobbed the clay, while enduring the pain. Yet what fine'ly emerged, from the fire that had purged... a large Bowl smooth, yet toughened by glaze. With adequate breadth and thick sides of great depth to withstand the heat of a blaze. The Bowl then saw clearly, he indeed was loved dearly made exactly the way he should be. So he ceased his complaints, and his selfish restraints and made ready to serve gratefully. The Potter sent his creation to a distant nation where famine stalked a desperate race. And then the Bowl blessed, the Potter's wise thoughtfulness when he saw the needy face to face. So he toiled hard and long, while inside grew a song as he saw each new need satisfied. And he laughed at vain dreams, and the small petty schemes for which he once desperately strived. Many times he was lifted, from wells where he dipped in... to life-giving water from the depths. Countless times he was drained, of that life he contained by cracked, thirsty lips close to death. And then thin, ragged crowds they, the bowl would surround while many a supper he cooked. For he's no dainty glass, as he'd hoped in years past sitting useless, while admirers looked. You can find him today in that land faraway by a campfire all sooty and dark. With plenty of chips, weathered cracks and grease drips for the years of hard use leave their marks. But he'll never return, to the comfort he's spurned for he learned that joy grows ever sweet. When serving at last, in his own special task that the Potter made HIM to complete.
Written in 1991 after my two years of volunteer work in third world countries. Published on my website.
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