The Potter, the Pitcher, and Purpose
A potter created a pitcher, formed it lovingly and perfectly. He smiled as he looked it over, running his fingers over the smooth basin and admiring his handiwork. In fact, every time he thought about it he smiled in approval.
The potter saw one day that some dust and dirt was on the inside of the pitcher. Mold had grown around it. The pitcher was so conscious of this stain that it wanted to recoil from its maker.
Unworried,Â the potterÂ tenderly and precisely wiped out the inside of the pitcher then transferred it to the sink of warm water and soap already prepared. The pitcher was scared–vulnerable and filled with anxiety. It never did see the smile on the potterâ€™s face and once it became submerged, the pitcher thought it was the end.
â€œHow can I come back from this?â€ the pitcher thought. Confusion and terror gripped it once again. It bobbed in and out of the water several times until finally the potter took it out. He took a towel and carefully wiped the pitcher. So overwhelmed with joy, he laughed as he saw the stain was completely removed.
The potter was ready and eager to use his pitcher. He knew how meticulously he had formed it. The shape, the curves, everything was intentional. Every detail was accounted for. The stain he had found was now completely removed.
The pitcher became afraid again as the potter carried it to the faucet to get filled up. Finally, itÂ couldn’tÂ be quiet any longer and cried out to the potter, â€œI canâ€™t do this!â€
â€œYou canâ€™t do what?â€ asked the potter.
â€œI canâ€™t hold any water. What if I’m not strong enough? I was stained. What if I donâ€™t do it right? What if I mess up what you give me? What ifâ€¦â€
The potter laughed lovingly. â€œI created you for this purpose, and no stain could undo that. You’re perfectly clean–so much so that it’s as if the stain was never there. Not only will you hold what I give you perfectly, but I’ve also made you to pour it back out as well.â€
â€œYouâ€™re going to have to trust me. I made you so I know you most intimately. I am a master potter and I have no doubt you will do what I created you to do.â€
The potter filled the pitcher. It braced itself as the cool water rushed down its sides and slowly filled the inside. It checked itself for leaks, but none ever showed. There were no cracks. The pitcher was strong enough to fulfill its purpose. All trepidation melted away as the potter turned and poured out the water–as pure and clean as it was when it had entered.
Suddenly, the pitcher felt wave after wave of gratitude for its maker.
It no longer focused on itself, the other items on the table, or even the potterâ€™s guests–it simply couldn’t. That pitcher was relaxed and transfixed on the loving smile of approval spread on the face of the potter.
Over at Faith Barista, Bonnie Gray is hosting a blog-and-comment discussion of â€œkeeping faith fresh.â€ This weekâ€™s discussion is on discovering God’s purpose for each of us.