1 [This is] the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Go down at once to the potter’s house; there I will reveal My words to you.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, working away at the wheel. 4 But the jar that he was making from the clay became flawed in the potter’s hand, so he made it into another jar, as it seemed right for him to do. Jeremiah 18:1-4
My excellent friend Lemme (www.lemme.biz), who is a sculptor, painter, and artist, has for years had a very deep insight into the things of God and the message of grace. I once played some music for a piece of performance art where she sculpts something on the wheel, damages it, and repairs it, while talking about the potter’s hand parable. You have never seen so many teary-eyed people watch someone make a pot! She agreed to write something about grace for thereforenow.com, and I am grateful and humbled to post it here. -Jim
It’s rather funny, in thinking about this, I thought ‘what is Grace anyway??’ You know, it is a word we use continually without ever truly having a clear, concise definition. After reading what the dictionary and the ‘experts’ say, I may be even a bit more baffled and the meaning yet more ambiguous. It is perhaps like Love and Truth….it is self-defining and we can dance around in the concept as much as we are able, continually discovering and uncovering ever more meaning, again, as we are able. And so, I choose, as I have so very often in so many areas of life and living, to walk away from the experts’ rhetoric and to dance with the Holy Spirit in the adventurous discovery of Grace.
The Potter’s Parable presentation provides so very much insight, and as is the point in the whole concept of parables, open ended. That is, that there is ever more Truth to be learned, deeper and deeper….as we are able. [side note: using “as we are able” is so important. I found myself telling God that I Love Him…then realizing how that must sound to the very Author of Love….followed it up with the quick qualification, “as much as I am able to Love you right now” knowing that my human limitations render that Love insufficient and hoping that I grow in ability and lessen the limitations daily]. One of these aspects of deeper understanding is in the Potter’s Parable as follows:
In the Potter’s Parable (remember playing for the DVD, Jim?) [YES! What a fantastic experience!- Jim] I speak about Grace like the water that is poured on the vessel so as to reduce the friction between my strong hands and the weak vulnerable clay. So, Grace is that which allows God’s mighty Hands to work in our lives, skillfully/masterfully opposing the pressures of the world, without destroying us in the process. So Grace allows the pressures against us to serve as growing pains and not destruction….bringing all things into God’s Glory. (we just have to tough it out..ha ha).
In contemplating it yet more, I thought….perhaps Grace is that Supernatural “something” that intervenes between what logically “should” occur but by that “something” it does not occur. For example, the things that come against us from evil/darkness should, by all logic, destroy us. Even the Almighty Hand of God, by all logic, would crush us. And yet, Grace applied, it does not.
So, for right this moment, what is Grace? Me thinks it is the Divine Intention/Intervention that defies natural logic and encompasses us with Holy Love and Truth.
I awoke the other night with these words and quickly scratched them on the journal beside me (faithful friend that it is):
“It was as if the words could not gather nor arrange themselves in any assembly that my mind could begin to recognize as a congruent reflection, abandoning me like a conceptual eclipse.”
Maybe defining Grace, Love, Truth….is like that….it is there, I know it is, see the evidence….the full exposure is coming….as I am able…