At one past job, I was in an office with a friend whose daughter was learning pottery. There was a little shelf where my friend would keep a few of her daughter’s mugs or bowls bearing small price tags. I found myself drawn to that shelf. I bought a few and discovered that I liked drinking my coffee from a mug that had so much personality.
Back then, her daughter was a beginner. Sometimes the glaze didn’t quite cover. Sometimes she would experiment with a shape or size that wasn’t practical. I found I loved those unique elements. They were evidence of someone learning a craft.
That pottery student ended up going professional. Over the years I’ve attended many of her shows. I’ve added to my collection: a few more mugs, a plate, a bowl, my most-used vase, a pendent necklace, and some of my favorite earrings. I love having her craftsmanship and design on display in various rooms in my home.
I would love to one day pop in for a visit at her pottery shop on Walton Street in Oxford, England. Her art is now in demand and on display in astounding venues like the Hotel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel, in central Paris.
Hand-crafted art is beautiful because it is NOT standard. It doesn’t look uniform. It isn’t manufactured fast by a machine. The value of Katie’s art is higher because she uses her skill to think up each design and she gets her hands dirty with the clay on the wheel. She invests time to shape, glaze, fire, and market (make useful) her pieces.
A masterpiece shows the outstanding artistry, skill, and workmanship of the master-craftsman. Katie’s art helps me consider the work of the Master of all master-craftsman: God Himself. God, who spoke the earth into being, got down like a child playing in the muddy clay by a stream, to shape Adam from the dust. Then God came face-to-face close and breathed right into Adam the breath of life.
One of my favorite verses of all time explains that, not just Adam, but every human is God’s Masterpiece. I don’t think I’m designed to be a beautiful vase. Probably I’m more of a practical mug. Yet, I’m a masterpiece mug.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago” (NLT).
He made each of us as His masterpiece and is now re-making those of us who submit through salvation to His re-creating work. Not only did He think through my design, He thought through the good works He wants me to do.
Thinking this through helps me remember:
1.I matter. I or others may think me quite insignificant, but the value comes not in my clay but in my Designer’s ability.
2.Others matter. While in process, clay doesn’t look like much. But each person I see has potential not based in their clay, but based in the skill of the Master-Potter who is shaping them. What is seen may not be close to the final product. However, I should treat others with the same value as God who finds them worth investing His time and skill in.
3.The One who made me the way He made me knows exactly what I need in order to be able to accomplish every one of the good works He wants me to do. He is not going to forget to provide what I need to do those good works.
4.God really is good at what He does. We talk of artists putting in 10,000 hours to become skilled at their craft. God has always been perfect so He has never needed to develop His skills. However, it still helps me to remember that He’s got a whole lot more than 10,000 hours of experience at helping His people do the good work He pre-planned for them.
5. We are nonstandard on purpose. Trying to make myself or others appear flawless and manufactured is silly. Each of us is designed uniquely because the good works God wants us to do to bring Him glory are also unique. We are not mistakes. We are masterpieces.
How have you seen God at work recreating you? How have you noticed that the way He designed you actually enable you to do the good things He has you doing? Feel free to comment here or through private message. I would love to connect and hear your thoughts.