Posted by: minnow | April 5, 2009

Working the Clay

The other day I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and stayed there most of the day. I grumbled about almost everything and at nearly everyone. About 3:30 PM I went downstairs with my three year old, set her up with a slab of clay, and began wedging some for myself. As I molded and shaped that lump, God began wedging me. I did not even realize it until I got back upstairs and started fixing dinner. The process did not take long but the transformation was amazing. I was actually pleasant to be around. Nice words came out of my mouth. In that tiny sliver of time in my basement, through the simple act of creating something with my hands, my spirit was renewed.

How do I know it was God? Well, I was ugly and angry and not very nice when I went downstairs. I was completely self absorbed. But, when I came back upstairs the burden of my self had been lifted. I know of only one transforming, life giving, paradigm-shifting, power. And that would be God. Everything else feeds on anger and hate, greed and control. Everything else is rooted in self or entices the individual to concentrate on self.

I suppose one could argue it was the act of being creative, of working the clay that pulled my focus off of myself and thus brought me to a different mind. But, I have worked clay before and not had the same mood, attitude, life altering experience so I know that the power to change is not in the clay. Nor can I credit the physical activity, for the same reason. And, while I did not mention it before, I did not engage in any kind of “self-talk” while I was kneading my lump of clay. I answered a few of my daughter’s questions and complied with a couple of her requests. I did not listen to any music nor sing to myself. I simply descended into the depths of my basement with the thought of working clay and the hope that something would change. That fleeting hope, I believe, was received by God as a prayer, a prayer He honored and answered as simply as it was asked.

The existence of God, especially as it is manifest in the working of the Holy Spirit, is difficult to prove according to some. Many turn to creation to prove a Creator and the historical evidence to prove the life of Christ. But still, the Holy Spirit is left in the realms of kinda sorta in there somewhere. I believe with every fiber of my being that Jesus was the physical manifestation of God, that His earth-lived life pointed outward from Himself and upward to the Father, that His example showed us the way, and that, if we choose to follow, we will experience heaven manifest on earth. Here. Now. Complete with His spiritual presence, the Holy Spirit. Still, I cannot prove to you that what I know to be true is (could be?) true for you, too. I say is because I believe God (as Spirit) is present here now for everyone all the time and your awareness (experience) is what is not. I know many in the Church believe we must first ask God in before He comes in and touches our lives/hearts/however you want to label that process. I say “could be” not for that reason, but rather because I believe what we experience accounts for something. It defines our physical existence. For this reason I long to tell people about my God, my loving, creative, hope giving, life changing God.

Where there is life there is God. Where there is light there is God. Where there is goodness there is God. Where there is peace and joy and love there is God. If we understand then we are blessed. One of my favorite passages in Luke describes some of the events of Palm Sunday. As the crowd shouted out their blessings toward Jesus the Pharisees rebuked Him ordering Him to silence His disciples. Jesus answered them saying, “I tell you, if they keep quiet the stones will cry out.” In other words Jesus did not need the praises of men to be praised. He did not need man to acknowledge who He was to be who He was. The praise, the acknowledgement, was a blessing for the people who saw, understood and responded. “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

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