Yesterday while singing Gungor's song "Beautiful Things" I was struck by something.
The song's lyrics were placed over a series of photographs of a potter working at a wheel. The photos were all close-up pictures showing just the hands of the artist and the mass of clay being worked on. As I watched the pictures and sang the words, I noticed the hands of the potter.
They. Were. Filthy.
And there were a lot of pictures where it was nearly impossible to distinguish which was the pot, which was the excess clay, which was the hands of the potter, and sometimes where the wheel started.
Does the potter mind that it is so messy? No, because a potter knows that the mess is necessary to achieve the the final product. Whether the piece will end up in a museum, a showroom, or just in someone's cupboard, the mess is part of the process.
And when the pot is "finished," the potter steps back, wipes off the clay that got everywhere on him (if you've ever watched a pot being thrown, you know the clay gets on more than just the potter's hands), then goes and washes away whatever is left. The potter is clean again, and the creation is there, beautiful, ready for its intended use. The excess is taken away as the potter masterfully works to create what is intended.
It got me to thinking. God is right there in the middle of the mess. In the middle of MY mess. And He's getting messy right along with me.
Is the process painful? Yes, but all during the process His loving hands are surrounding me, keeping what I need and stripping away what I don't. And much of the time, I hope, where I stop and He starts is indistinguishable.