Today I just needed someone to listen. I called upon a dear friend.
"Do you have a minute", I asked, knowing my friend has allot of people needing attention.
"For you, I have all the time you need." my friend replied "Do you mind if I work while we talk?"
I glanced down and watched as my friend scooped handfuls of dirt onto a small table with work-worn hands.
I sat, and as he worked, I talked.
"It's my son again. I don't know what his problem is. He's mad at me, what for exactly- I don't know!
I have done my best, but still he is unhappy. He's depressed. He got involved with drugs.
How can anyone want to do that? I mean, I have brothers and sisters that live that way, you would think after seeing the pain and misery addictions caused them he would never want to do anything that stupid!"
My friend looked up from his pile of dirt. "Would you help me for just a moment?" He asked. "There is water in that pitcher there, would you pour some for me here?" He looked down at the dirt in his hands, now shaped into a small bowl. I lifted the pitcher and tipped it slightly so a small stream of water slowly poured into the bottom of the dirt bowl. "Thank you," my friend said, "that's just enough." I watched as he began to mix the water and dirt together forming a red clay, his hands working at blending to two textures together so the clay is pliable.
I set the pitcher down thinking for a minute how crystal clear the water was before hitting the dirt. "I found out my family was getting the drugs for him." I could feel my temper rising, anger causing my voice to rise. "I confronted them about it and they DENIED giving him drugs! They denied asking him to get them drugs! I told them to stay away from my kids! I told them I would never do that to their kids! I said if their kids were with me they would know they would be safe! I let them know if anything happens to my son I would never forgive them!" I had to stop and take a few deep breaths. My anger was causing my head to pound.
Leaning forward, his hands never leaving the clay that was slowly taking shape, my friend pressed a kiss against my forehead. "sshhh, don't let your anger take hold for reason is lost to it." I lifted my fingertips to my forehead amazed that the headache was gone.
I sat for a moment, watching. The pile of dirt, now mixed with water was becoming cylindrical. With just molding a little here and smoothing a bit there, his hands were creating... what? I opened my mouth to ask but my friend smiled and said, " Just watch."
As I continued to watch his hands I kept talking. "My son moved out of the house. He said some awful things to me and stormed away. He's staying with my husband's brother who's an alcoholic. The family says I'm to hard on him. I don't think so. Maybe I can't be the perfect parent but I don't see anything wrong with wanting my son to grow into a good man who's honest, hard-working, and healthy. My friends say that the family doesn't think living that way is wrong. I don't think living WITHOUT the booze, and all that comes with it is wrong either!"
My friend slowly shaped the edge of the clay now recognisable as a pitcher. Round at the bottom with a narrow neck and a high lip, it was very similar to the one holding water but also unique as only hand-made objects can be. I watched him form a wide handle, pour some water into his hands and smooth away the rough edges of his work.
"I just want him safe." I could feel tears welling in my eyes and tryed blinking them away. "He has a good heart, he is smart, he is strong, he has such potential to be a great man. Why does he not see for himself?, Why can't he believe he is worth so much more than the world?" I felt my friend's hands gently cup my face, his fingers wiping away the tears that had escaped to leave wet trails down my cheeks, "Beloved, do not let troubled thoughts weaken your heart. Be comforted in knowing God is our shelter and our strength."
He turned and lifted the pitcher, carrying it a few feet to a small stone oven. Placing his art into the fire, he came and sat next to me.
Lifting my hand and holding it within his, I could feel the calluses left by life. As the thought of his hands filled my mind, his voice filled my heart. "Your son is like clay in the potter's hand. He is shaped by faith and made strong by the refiners fire. He will find his way out of the darkness."
"How can you be sure?" I asked. "What if he chooses to continue this destructive behavior? What if the darkness keeps him blind? What if he is so lost he can't find the way...?" My friend stood and carefully removed the pitcher from the fire. Setting it down on the ground near me he knelt and pointed to his creation. "We are formed by the Master Potter. We are tested by fire. We are made to hold Living Water. You did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave to fear. We love at all times." Taking my hands again he smiled and pulled me to my feet.
"Beloved, I will find your son. I have walked the paths he walks. He will call out to me and I will answer." Bending he grasp the handle of the pitcher and placed it in my hands. Raising his hands to encompass our surroundings, the sunlight piercing through the scars left by nails and causing the clay in my hands to glow the deep red of the earth, "Your son shall not thirst." My friend finished,
" For I am Living Water."
"With Your hands you formed me, Now breathe Your wisdom over me..."
March 2018 :)
2 weeks ago