Being Shaped By God Station

Although my primary medium is painting, I love to dabble in pottery.  I love the feel of clay in my hands.  There is nothing like sitting at a potter’s wheel.  I start by wedging the clay.  Wedging is a process of working the clay to remove the air pockets.  This step is very important when it comes to wheel throwing.  If the clay is not properly wedged, those air pockets will later act as blemishes and make the whole piece off balance.  Then comes centering the ball of clay onto the wheel.  If the clay is not centered it will be off balanced and sometimes it will fly off the wheel.  Once the clay is centered it must be kept wet enough to be impressionable.  The water helps to keep it pliable and allows it to be shaped.  Otherwise it will crack, dry out, and be unyielding.  Then the potter works to open the clay.  As the clay is opened the potter starts to determine what kind of vessel he/she will make.  During this process the clay is stretched.  And as the clay is stretched its blemishes are revealed.  As the potter finds blemishes, he/she must slow the wheel down and carefully extract the blemish.  Otherwise it may cause the piece to be off balance and/or make holes or tears in the piece.  As the potter shapes the piece, he/she determines what kind of piece it will be.  Yet the clay sometime seems to have a mind of its own.  As the clay is being shaped it seems to move toward looking like a particular vessel.  As long as the clay is wet, it can be shaped over and over again into various vessels. 

So it is with us as Christians.  First we as the clay, must allow God to work us removing the air pockets, the mars, the sin in our lives.  Then we must be centered on Christ.  If we are not centered, we will find our selves spinning out of control and sometimes hitting walls.  In this centering process we must over and over again come back to Christ as our center, in whom we live, move, and have our being.  Once we are centered, we work to stay in the flow of Christ our living water.  This living water keeps us pliable and willing to be shaped.  Without it we become dry, brittle, and unyielding.  As Christians, we strive to be open to God’s renewing and shaping presence.  As we are open to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit, we allow God to transform our lives and make us into Godly vessels.  The process of becoming Godly vessels requires stretching and growth.  Part of this process includes being willing to be trimmed along the way, to allow God to remove those things that hinder our relationship.  As we allow God to shape us we get to have input in who we are to become.  We learn along the way the importance of the surrendered life.  Over and over again God is shaping us into who we are called to be and how we are called to serve.  The image of the potter and the clay resonates with my understanding of the kingdom of God.  We as the clay surrendered to the Potter’s Hands, can work to make a difference here and now in this world.       

Some of us are tactile learners -- meaning we learn and experience life through touch and experiences.  Clay (as well as things like Play-doh and Fimo) enable us to experience God's presence in a more tangible way.  Scripture describes God as a potter and us as the clay.  As we read scripture and pray it can be helpful to mold and shape clay in response to what we have read or as we pray.  Shaping play-doh, clay, or Fimo in response to reading any scripture passage is a great way to connect to the text, not only with our eyes and our brains, but also with our hands. 


“Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? Just like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel”  Jeremiah 18:6 (NRSV)

Directives:  God is the potter; we are the clay.  As you take time to prayerfully shape this Clay (Play-doh, or Fimo), think about what kind of vessel you are for God.  Are you pliable and moldable?  Is your life being filled by living water?  Perhaps you are more like clay that is dried out and hardened and less likely to allow yourself to be shaped by God.  Prayerfully consider how you can surrender your life to the Potter’s Hand.

Supplies Needed:  Clay, Play-Doh, or Fimo

For Clean Up:  Pitcher/Jug of Water, Wash Basin, Paper Towels, Trash Can, and Wipes  

 All paintings, drawings, Ideas, and wording on this webpage are copyrighted by the artist.  
© 2010 Charissa Jaeger-Sanders.  All Rights Reserved.  You are welcome to use the ideas and suggestions found on this website, for no fee, as long as you give credit to Grace Works Studio.  However, if you Find this Website helpful, please consider giving a donation to Grace Works Studio to help continue its ministry.