"THE POTTER'S TEARS"
Jesus Did It!
By: Mary Carter Mizrany
'TESTIMONY?' I thought. 'Who would be interested in the testimony of a nobody like me?'
Yet a little voice kept whispering: "Do it for Me!"
Hey - I knew that little voice because I’ve heard it so many times . . . (I'm smiling) . . . which reminds me of those other many times I held conversations with Him.
Those times without number I’ve told him: "NO WAY!" - only to come back in tears, head bowed in shame, to say . . . "Forgive me, won’t you?" You know how I am, Lord. You’ve been dealing with this rebellious child all these years." I would feel Him smile and His touch would tell me: "All is forgiven."
So, okay, but I’m not 'gonna start at the beginning ‘cause that is much too long ago! Still, if I don’t tell a bit about the early years that would 'sorta be like a house without a foundation, wouldn’t it?
I’ll type really fast so it won’t seem so long (that was a joke). Anyway, the thought of my early years makes me have mixed emotions. It seemed like my parents were either fighting or making up all the time. Daddy believed in raising kids to "tow the line;" whereas, mother reacted to our shenanigans by "flying off the handle!" Mother only "whipped" us when she was angry; whereas, daddy was calm, cool and collected: very regimented.
"Wait ‘til your father gets home" was an actual line mother used on brother and me. If she got really mad we’d get a "'lickin" from her on the spot. For more serious offences, daddy would take care of us. He would take the time to explain exactly why we were being punished, take us into the bathroom, lay us across his lap and strike us three or four good licks with the belt (just on the bottom). Whereas, when mother laid into us, it was "Katy bar the door" . . . "no holds barred" and we’d get it on the legs, bottom, back; just wherever that switch, belt or whatever she could lay her hands on, happened to land. Hey - growing up was not always a picnic, kiddoes.
Daddy was highly intelligent, holding down a couple of jobs while studying for law school. He did graduate from law college when I was about five. The "fly in the ointment" was daddy liked poker and partying and mother didn't like staying home with the kids. Thus, when daddy stayed out late mother would lock the door. When he finally was able to get inside the house, a battle royal would begin. Name calling; ranting and raving with eventual blows being exchanged. This went on all the time.
Older brother and I would hide under the bed, in the closet, and even at times, run to a neighbor’s for help. Brother was a year older, and he often had nightmares and would wake up screaming. Since we slept in the same room I was always the first to hear the screams. I’d run and get daddy who would begin turning all the lights on in the house to show brother nothing was there. Fearfulness became a close companion to both of us. It manifested in brother as "the neighborhood bully magnet" with me as his "protector." I believed the old adage "the bigger they are, the harder they fall" and remember sending at least one to the hospital with a pencil sticking out of his skull. Needless to say, both brother and I grew up with "quirky" personalities (to say the least).
When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, daddy went the next day to join the Marine Corps: boot camp at Camp Pendleton, California. Mother had an uncle and aunt in California not too far from the camp who insisted she come stay with them so she’d be able to see daddy some before he got his orders. Mother made all the arrangements and sent brother and me to live with grandmother and grandpa in Nacogdoches, Texas, on the farm.
Now grandmother was a wonderful Christian lady. She and grandpa took us to services every time the doors were opened. It was a little old country church shared by both Methodists and Baptists. Grandmother played the piano at every service, for both denominations. Back in those days the community sort of revolved around church activities. Many a Sunday there’d be all day singing with dinner on the ground. (I can almost taste those good biscuits and fried chicken with all the trimmings as I think about it). There were a lot of prayer meetings, too, and neighbors helping neighbors.
The summer I was eight years old the "BIG" Methodist church downtown was having Vacation Bible School, so grandmother let brother and me attend. It was during that week I first heard the voice of "Him." Brother told me he heard "His" voice too . . . so I grabbed brother’s hand and we "went forward" to the altar to "get saved." Now Methodists have what they consider "baptism," which is "sprinkling." But, hey, brother and me - we wanted to go "under the water." Sooooooooo ... Brother Westmoreland talked to the Baptist preacher who agreed to allow him to use their baptistery. Brother and I "gave our hearts to Jesus" . . . were baptized in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost ... and were SAVED!
That was "the early years," and both of us continued to "serve the Lord" all through high school. We loved to sing and often sang in services. We taught Sunday School, involved ourselves in youth ministries, etc. In fact, brother got together a quartet and had a radio broadcast every week during those days.
Far from "the end of the story," folks! After graduation from high school, each of us began to listen to "other" voices beckoning us to "try this" and "try that." It wasn’t until years later I learned rebellion is a "spirit" . . . a spirit that is described in the Bible "as witchcraft." I thank The Good Shepherd for leaving the ninety and nine more than once to retrieve these two little lost lambs. And do you know why He does this? It is because HE knows the end from the beginning. He saw there would come a day when both brother and I would "come to ourselves" in that pigpen and begin the long trek "home" . . . back to The Father’s House!
I am including a poem inspired by The Holy Spirit that is as close to my life as anything else I could write here. Oh, how I pray it will bless your heart, dear ones:
THE POTTER'S TEARS
On The Potter's wheel I sat,
and felt His mighty touch;
I heard my own voice asking Him,
"Why have You made me such?"
"Oh - take me quickly from your wheel,
don't mold this vessel more;
Have you not chiseled long enough,
so much longer than before?"
"With every turning of your wheel,
some part of me is changed;
And somehow who I used to be,
is now all rearranged."
I felt the wheel begin to slow,
as it came to a halt;
What were those last few drops that fell?
They had a taste of salt.
As He removed me from the wheel,
I could not help but see;
Those drops were falling from His eyes,
and each one fell on me.
Why was The Potter crying so?
What could have made Him cry?
When I felt such a great relief to be free;
or so thought I.
Free from The Potter's wheel at last,
free from the chisel's pain;
A vessel complete from The Potter's hand,
the wheel would not turn me again.
How I did glisten, He must be proud,
to have fashioned a vessel so rare;
Surely I'd bring Him much honor,
A treasure beyond all compare.
Such visions of grandeur filled me,
as He placed me on the shelf;
I barely noticed His tear-dimmed eyes,
so busy with thoughts of myself.
Merchants were coming into the place,
where we vessels were on display;
Surely I'd be the first to go,
Why - it had to be that way.
How eagerly I watched their faces,
as they examined us all;
Sure enough I was selected,
Joy filled me as I recall.
How could I know what lay ahead,
or what would be expected of me;
That day I cried to the Potter,
"From Your wheel please set me free."
I was traded and sold so many times,
filled with every imaginable thing;
Finally discarded as broken and useless,
No honor to The Potter did I bring.
Marred on the outside, scarred from
I thought of that day long before;
When The Potter's wheel stopped turning,
would I feel His hands no more?
Then suddenly I felt myself lifted,
from out of the refuse pile;
By hands that were somehow familiar,
hands accustomed to handling the fragile.
It was The Potter who'd made me,
How had He known I was here?
With love and compassion He held me,
As though I was somehow dear.
"How did You find me?" I questioned,
"And, why would You want me now?
I have brought You no honor,
it seems that I just don't know how."
"You've always belonged to me," He said,
"For in you is part of me;
Remember that day you felt my tears,
when you thought you should be free?"
"Those tears were shed because I knew,
the suffering you would endure;
Because you're an incomplete vessel,
only molding will make you secure."
"Though I wouldn't go against your will,
I knew you'd be willing one day;
To be the vessel I can use ...
Here - let me show you the way."
"You're just the kind of vessel now,
who will fit into my plan;
One the world thinks is useless,
for they simply don't understand."
"I always take the foolish things,
to confound the very wise;
And the vessel thought to be weakest,
I see through much different eyes."
"Don't be afraid of my Potter's wheel,
this time it won't seem too long,
Before you're that vessel you desired to be,
useful, loving and strong."
Oh - how patient The Potter's hands,
as He gently turns the wheel;
And, strangely it's not so painful now,
His chisel I hardly feel.
One thing is even more strange to me,
it baffles my own mind so;
The only places that need no repair,
are where His tears touched long ago.
© Mary Carter Mizrany
June 29, 1984
Poetry protected by copyright laws.
All rights reserved.
You may visit sister Mary's website for many other Holy Spirit inspired writings that will bring much comfort and joy to your soul: http://www.onwingsoffaith.com
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