Monday, July 11, 2011

Broken Clay Jars

Tonight, I'm not a theologian at all. I've set aside my pens, my books, my analysis.

The clothesline squeaks when I reel it in. Fabrics of cotton white, weathered lace and dyed polyesters pull into my hands. I find those brief moments some of my most peaceful moments of the day. Through the brush and locust trees, drooping willows and old winding vines I see the creek sparkle. It dances underneath a setting sun and the refrain of a creation alive happens while I'm pulling in our rags.

They feel like rags at that moment at least. Fibers that fade compared to these rich smells, colors, lights that emerge and reflect on surfaces I couldn't see an hour ago. The water curves around the bend, following a course known only to itself.

What is it about the ordinary that is so appealing to me?

It seems today my hunger for knowing more and more and more has diminished. There are days I will digest my fair share of Spurgeon, Edwards and the like. I love to read and hear fathers, brothers, sisters of faith expound on scriptures; I have spent many an afternoon listening to sermons that unpack passages and open up the Word into a world of mystery and truth.

I love all of that.

But something happens in my heart when I can still smell the lightning from last night's thunderstorm on my crazy quilt hanging on the line. When my toddler is yanking at my garden dirt-stained jeans, and I'm telling her how her peanut butter and jelly is waiting, while I mentally tally my to-do list for the afternoon...

I find grace.

As complex and worthy of a lifetime of learning the Gospel is, it's also so unbelievably simple, that it meets me while I'm shredding zucchini and wiping the table down at night.

When the clouds twirl in scattered moonlight rays, and the big dipper swings low to capture my silent prayers, I feel the inexplicable, magnificent, perfect love of God come close.

Didn't David spend hours watching herds, doing his work and writing songs all while discovering the mystery of God? Tonight, I feel less like a member of the royal priesthood, and more like a fragile clay jar. I'm in better company with the guy wandering the hillsides, and not the man in the temple.

Tonight, I sat to write about so many different things. So many non-whimsical things. Real things. Life things. Good things.

And yet, when my fingers hit these keys, all that comes to mind is all this. All of the above and all not mentioned. These typing fingers recall my daughter's sand-colored curls as she stretched across my lap and drifted to sleep. These eyes weigh heavy and when they close I see night sky. My heart is eager for new, and as it beats, I hear the prayers that fell against cotton earlier today.

All these things, the clay. The brown. The ordinary. They are holding the holy and I hold them out to be filled to the brim.
linking up today with the Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood 


  1. lovely pics. lovely, honest words. great post!

  2. I must share that it is in the ordinary that I have been able to connect with Our Father the most...not in temples or churches.


  3. Andrea,
    Look at you all fancy and redesigned! Beautiful feel and beautiful words.

    I like what you say about the Gospel being so complex, but yet so simple you think about it while shredding zuchinni.

    ps now, I'd really like some zuchinni.

  4. maria — i like your confession. i like that we share that :)
    amy — thank you friend! i have zucchini to spare.. if we were neighbors, you'd have your share of it already! :)