Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Potter's Hand

Last week, we had the privilege of meeting a man named Claude and his wife Sandra. Our team was invited to eat dinner with them and share experiences. Before arriving, we knew very little other than Claude being a potter, but for me, that was enough to raise excitement. I've never met a potter, nor have I had the chance to even see the process in action, so I let my imagination run wild as to what I would see. I knew that there would be a lot of strong biblical references, but nothing prepared me for what I would learn on this night. Here are some highlights:

The Food
When we arrived, it was around 7, so naturally...I was starving. We walked in and the first thing you see is a table with cups and other dishware, all different shapes, sizes and colors. I noticed that these cups and such were made by Claude and I examined them with care...until my nose caught a sniff of something delightful. I look in the small kitchen to my right and saw some delicious chicken wings that were prepared for our meal. I immediately thought, "Just like the pottery, the food was cooked to perfection." Later on, we got to taste it along with an indian dish. So. Good.

The Fire
I enjoyed this night partially because I got to ask a lot of questions that kept popping up in my mind. Everything was really amazing and I was intrigued by his abilities and equipment. For instance, he used an old barrel and turned it into something he can heat up to 1000 degrees (kind of acted like an oven for his pottery). As we were talking, he told me to come closer to see what it looks like from the inside. From my angle, it looked like he was sticking his head over the flames coming out the top...I thought he was joking. I've heard horror stories about people losing eyebrows and stuff from something as small as a burner in chemistry. I like my eyebrows, so obviously I was a little worried. When I took a little peak inside, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I don't think I've seen anything quite like it. Even though the flames burst out from the top of the barrel, the flames inside were moving as if in slow motion, revolving inside with a majestic glow. I thought it was a good example of how we should feel about God. Inside we're burning hot, because we know God's love and his enduring promises, but it gets to a point where we just cannot contain it any longer.

The Potter
After dinner, we got to see a demonstration of the beginning process where Claude turns a blob of clay into something beautiful. While he gave us a demo of what he does, I kept thinking, "that looks pretty simple." Never should have thought that. HAHA We had the option of trying to make something using the techniques he showed us. The first thing you have to do is center the clay as the wheel spins. When it was my turn, I felt like the clay had full control over my body; my arms were shaking and I had no control, but with Claude's help, I got things under control. As I continued to make something out of nothing, I got to see how even the slightest movements will affect everything. So much thought and detail has to be put into his process. It's cool to think of a design in your head and trying to create it. We all just made bowls, but we all got a little taste of what God does for everyone; he's the potter and puts so much thought and love into each and everyone of us. And just like me upon completion, he looks upon his creation with a huge smile and thinking "that looks amazing!" The things we make with our own hands provides us with so much joy, I can't even begin to fathom how God must feel about all of us.

Claude and Sandra
They are an amazing couple. They seem to have so much fun together and love to poke fun at each other. They truly love each other and it's a refreshing sight to see. They were so nice and hospitable. They treated us as if we were the first guests they've ever had. What really struck me was when Sandra kept thanking us for joining them and she looked like she was about to cry. In that moment I felt so loved and cared for.

Claude and Sandra are both incredible in their own ways. Claude's passion for pottery goes far beyond just a simple hobby, but rather an outlet for creativity. His excitement in what he does and the beauty in everything he makes is so obvious...he got all of us super excited too. You can tell that nothing will ever stop him from pursuing this with all that he has. Sandra is an outstanding supporter. Not only does she just like what he does, but she loves it just as much as Claude does. She would say comments like "Claude, look at that! Isn't that beautiful?!" Even while he was explaining how he does everything, her eyes were fixated on him and the things he was saying, agreeing with everything with such confidence. Overall, in every aspect of this night, it was full of blessings and real life examples. We were so blessed to have had the opportunity to meet with them. Our prayers go out to them as they get the word out about his pottery. God has blessed him so much with this unique ability. I praise God for giving us the chance to experience being the potter and the joy in gazing upon our own creation. I'm constantly remind that he delights in me and loves me just the way I am.

Praise on,

Michael Fukuda

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