If you have been following my blogs, you know that I am starting back into sculpting. In my endeavor to get back into this I have been searching web sites and YouTube Videos about sculpting. One of particular interest to me is an artist named David Lemon, who sculpts mostly Native American Indian pieces. He does a marvellous job. (Give him a Google.)
As I was watching him sculpt and hearing his explanation of what he was doing, he revealed that he preferred to use Super Sculpey Grey Firm clay. I have used some sculpey before but not the grey firm. This stuff breaks off in your hand. In fact, you must cut this brick into small slabs and hold them in your hand to warm them up before they become suitable for anything.
Today I started just working with the clay – making it pliable enough to work with. It was crumbly, almost like a cracker. I would take a small piece and knead it over and over and over (for over an hour) before it became soft enough to use.
We in the Christian Faith know about being clay in the potters hands. Not until today did I really realize what that actually meant. You see, I have always used soft clay. It was already pliable. All the potter had to do was mold the clay into the right image. Today I learned that there is more to it than that.
Until we place ourselves in the Master’s hands to be made warm and pliable – ready to be used, we are of little good in becoming that which the Potter wants or needs to make of us. John Wesley was an educated man, priest of the church, with a method about his spiritual practices that would put us all to shame. He realized that the clay of his heart was strangely warmed as he joined a little group of people at a vespers service at Aldersgate Church and listened to Luther’s preface to Romans read out loud. It was then he knew for sure that he was saved by God’s grace alone – not his own works.
Forgive me for this wording, but I really believe that before Aldersgate Wesley walked with God. After Aldersgate Wesley walked in God. Before, he was striving to be obedient. After, he was striving to allow God to work through him. The clay was firmly in God’s loving and gracious hands.
Dear Lord, thank you for teaching an old dog some new insight into faith and grace. Take my life in the palm of your hand and warm me – knead me – until I can be more fully used to become what you have called me to be, in and through Jesus. Amen.
Grace and Peace