I hate getting zits. Some people have really bad acne and I feel bad for them, because that is one of the only physical things I am really self conscious about. I don’t get many, and I don’t have these ‘atomic burst on the mirror type’ zits. I get them, and they are usually pretty small, but they can get red if I irritate them too much. They are embarrassing and I try as hard as I can to cover them up with a hand on my face, with hair, or whatever else I can find. I hope you realize this is a big step for me. To come out and share something this personal with you. For everyone to read on the big world wide web. It may not seem like a big deal to you though… what, a couple zits is a big deal to this guy. He’s got it made compared to me. Well yeah, you know what! It is a big deal to me. Zits are a crack in this little clay pot that God put together. It is a blemish in my life. It is a scar, it is something I’m not proud of, something that I don’t like about myself. And definitely there are greater things in my life that are cause much greater cracks. What do you hate about yourself? What makes your friends not be able to stand you at times?

Your hair. Your big nose. Your ears. Your big glasses. Your eyes. Your tiny chin. Your facial hair. Your lack of facial hair. Your baby face[guilty]. Your chest. Your abs. Your butt. Your muscle. Your skin on bones figure. Your wide hips. Your thick ankles. Your big feet. Your deep voice. Your high pitch voice. Your bad breathe. Your instant sweat stains. Your body odour. Your stutter. Your lisp. Your quick to judge attitude. Your anger. Your shyness. Your bitterness. Your lack of confidence. Your independence. Your dependence. Your crude humour. Your fowl mouth. Your inconsiderate comments. Your hollow encouragements filled with sarcasm. Your talking behind others backs. Your constant arguments with parents or siblings. Your pushing the boundaries with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Your cheating on them with someone else. Your homosexual thoughts. Your depression. Your suicidal thoughts. Your anorexia. Your cutting. Your porn addiction. Your drug use. Your drinks that go a bit too far.

Are you getting the picture?
With His hands, God made all of us as clay pots. As we go through our life, we get scratched, we get marked up, we get cracks, we may even fall off the counter a few times and it feels like we’ve shattered into a million pieces. Whether it be physical characteristics, attitude and temperamental things, or things we’ve done or felt. These are all cracks in us.

I’m reminded of a story I heard about a little boy who was in a church service and after he approached his mother because of something the pastor said. First he clarified that God created the whole world, that He is bigger than anything and everything, that He was so huge that he could in fact hold the world in His hands. His mother confirmed that what he was saying was truth. He then posed his second question about God being able to fit inside each and every one of us, that He lives in us when we accept Him into our heart. His mother confirmed this point as well with her curious son. He then made the bold statement, ‘Well if God is that huge, and is inside of us, shouldn’t people be able to see Him through us?’

Isn’t that the truth? Take the analogy of a clay pot, if we stick it in darkness, much like the world that we live in, nothing changes, everything is just as dark. We blend in with the darkness, with our scars and cracks, no one sees anything different in us. But when even the smallest tea light is lit inside that clay pot, it will shine. But through what? That little light will shine through our cracks, it will be seen through our sorrows, our blemishes, our heartaches, our sins. God wants to shine through these cracks. These cracks can be used for good. Why do we see tough situations and problems in our lives as such a horrible thing. Something to be forgotten in the past, something to hide in the closet. It’s when we are real with people, pull off the layers, be vulnerable with one another, and allow them to see us for what we really are, that they see Christ in us. They can see that they are not alone with what they are dealing with, they see you, they see you have cracks too, and they can see the life of Christ living inside of you.
And in a room of darkness, it’s hard to difficult to overlook such a bright light, even if it is being seen through cracks in a dirty old clay pot.


Joy said...

i've never heard an analogy of a clay pot like that before, such a neat perspective! soo cool!

Megan said...

I loved this post Ben. Thanks for your insight. It's lovely to read the thoughts that flow through your fingers. Thanks again!

Katie said...

i really needed to hear this. thanks.
would you mind if i used this illustration with my sunday school class?

Benjamin Pavey said...

fell free to Katie, thanks for reading!