Nov 26

Helen Tyte

God’s Treasure in Clay

One of my father’s hobbies is pottery, and I’m not sure whether what draws him to the activity is the fact that he can turn an apparently uninspiring ball of clay into a beautiful bowl or vase, or that he gets to hide in his pottery shed, away from my mother. This story reminded me of him.

A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a large canvas bag containing a dozen or so hardened clay balls. It was as if someone had rolled the clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They appeared to have been there for many years, and even though they didn’t look like much, they intrigued the man, so he took the bag with him.

As he strolled along the beach, he absentmindedly started throwing the balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could, occasionally trying to skim them and make them bounce across the top of the waves. He thought little about it, until he got to the last clay ball, which he decided to break open by dropping it on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone – treasure in clay!

Then a thought struck him. He had thrown the rest of the balls into the ocean waves. Maybe they also contained precious stones?

It’s like that with people. We will often look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn’t always look like much from the outside. It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.

We do not take the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is treasure in each and every one of us, but we need to take the time to get to know people, and ask God to show us that person the way He sees them.

When my children were small they took great delight in going into granddad’s pottery shed producing ‘wonderful’ pieces of art, although they were often the only ones who could see the beauty in their creations. My prayer is that none of us reach the end of our lives and realise that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because we didn’t take the time to find the treasure hidden within each person, and also that we may see the beauty and treasure in people as God does in all of his creations.

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