In the Potter’s Hands

“NO!!!” I cried, followed by a WTF, and my world coming to an end.

In anyone else’s world, someone had simply made a mistake. No biggie. Easily fixed. But in my world, this was not supposed to happen. Someone (aka Fred) was to blame, and I wanted to blame him.

“Sorry for overreacting,” I said before I felt sorry. It was the right thing to do but something in me still wanted to justify my angry outburst.

A few hours later, I was the one who made a mistake and saw the NO!!! on someone else’s face. “Sorry, I totally forgot,” I said, wanting them to get over it.

That week, the scripture about being shaped in the potter’s hands popped up three times, and three times that same week I overreacted to someone’s innocent mistake. God was shaping me.

But, not with shame. I felt sorry for my intense reaction but not ashamed. Over the years, as you know, God has been schooling me to let go of self-judgment and simply observe what happened and offer myself compassion and curiosity.

We all overreact at times. After we come to our senses, we long to be that saint who can go with the flow. But I don’t think that’s God’s intent.

Maybe, God is shaping us into people who can be kind to ourselves even when we can’t be kind to others.

Often after an incident like this happens, I redouble my efforts to never overreact and blame again. But what if God is inviting me to accept that I will? When I lost it, God didn’t think the world was ending because I had another meltdown. And neither did Fred.

I think God is shaping me into someone who can accept that it takes me a while to get over the shock of things not going as planned. And perhaps, in the process, I will be given a little more grace for others who have meltdowns too.

Just like the clay in the potter’s hand,
so are you in my hand.

Jeremiah 18.6 (NRSVUE)

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World

At a potluck barbecue a few years ago, a woman in our contemplative group asked me about SoulStream‘s Living from the Heart. I told her about the structure and content of the course. “But if you want to know what it’s like, you can ask someone who took it,” I said looking at our friend Mei. “It changed my life,” she replied. It changed mine too. A recent participant summed it up this way, “At Living from the Heart, I found a God I could love; as I continued on in the course, I found a God who loved me.” There are still spaces available for the course on Bowen Island (until Sept 12) and online (until Oct 1).

What love mischief are you and God doing for the world?
Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Tantrum” by amanda tipton. Used with permission.
“In the hands of the potter” by Photos by Clark. Used by permission.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2022.
The unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013-2022.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
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