“Whenever a piece of pottery turned out imperfect…”

“The Lord said to me,
Go down to the potter’s house, where I will give you my message.  So I went there and saw the potter working at his wheel.  Whenever a piece of pottery turned out imperfect, he would take the clay and make it into something else.”  (Jeremiah 18:1-4)

Any guesses on the photo…?  I got this really cool new app on my phone.  It allows me to point the phone to the sky and the app will tell me what celestial bodies I’m seeing in the night sky.  So, I moved the phone around one night and found Jupiter.  This is my Jupiter photo – a work in progress.  I’ve tried a few times since I took this picture to get a better one, but so far without much success.  I started not to share it, but then it hit me.  Why are we so afraid of sharing our imperfections – our vulnerabilities?  I’ve noticed it’s especially true with my photos.  I only want you to see the best ones, but if I waited for the “best” I might not ever share my excitement with you about finding Jupiter in the night sky.

Relationships grow and deepen when we share not only our strengths but also our weaknesses, our vulnerabilities – our works in progress.  Of course, there is an appropriate time and place to share our vulnerabilities.  However, when our strengths are the only thing shared we form great acquaintances that lack the depth, joy, and fortitude of true intimacy.  It is impossible for us to truly support one another if we are not aware of vulnerabilities and missteps – our works in progress.

The prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament of the Bible likened God to a a potter who knows our imperfections and manages to guide us along a life journey so that both our vulnerabilities and strengths come together to form a useful vessel for God’s work.  It’s when we try to ignore and hide our vulnerabilities that we get in the way of the plan God has for our usefulness.  Sharing vulnerabilities requires trust – a leap of faith, with God and one another.  It is a risky and potentially dangerous or rewarding moment.  Both the one doing the sharing and the one receiving the sharing need to be aware of the sacred potential to destroy or grow the relationship.  It’s risky, but worthwhile when appropriate.

God has shown an ever-readiness to be trusted to hear our vulnerabilities – our works in progress, and to use them in forming us into a sacred and useful vessel.  I pray that God will give me the courage to share my strengths and vulnerabilities – my works in progress.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my new book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit Check out my new video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”

~ by revgenelson on February 8, 2012.

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