The Potter- A Poem

The Potter
~A Poem by Melanie Moscicki
Mending the Soul 2014

Another year,
a million tears,
so many times she’s tried
To fix the broken little girl,
she buried deep inside.

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He says to her,
“Come follow me,
I’ll make you new again”
but the walls she built are far too strong
to ever let Him in.

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She hears the sounds of laughter,
of joy she’s never known
Could it be? A girl like SHE
should live on LOVE-alone?

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So many scars from trusting
cracks from being dropped,
cast aside as nothing
but an empty, broken pot.

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But He says He’s a potter…
The best there ever was,
and He says I’m HIS daughter…
and His work has just begun.

At the Bottom

Here I am at the bottom again. Depression moves in swirls and waves most of the time and each day I dodge the waves and try to ride the swirls. If I could learn to recognize when I’m caught in a wave, I might be able to see more swirls. But in the wave, the swirls seem unreal. The good things that are swirls seem small and insignificant- fake even.

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First comes that pleading to God to help me- straighten me out- get me back on track. Then comes the self-loathing. “I used to be better than this.” And the worry. “How do I get out of this?” All the while the riptide is shredding and shredding each piece of me.

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Finally, I am at the bottom, the muck and the weeds surrounding me, and it’s an odd place. At the bottom, I can’t see the swirls or the waves. It’s just me stuck in the quicksand and having to deal with it.

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At the bottom I am like a lump. There is nothing redeeming about me. I have accomplished nothing. That being- that person -I used to be with the self confidence and nice clothes and polished up social skills isn’t me at the bottom. She is just a figment – a has-been. Some would call this a crisis, but it’s bigger than that. It’s a nothingness.

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As a lump I should have no feelings of inadequacy- no regret- no falseness, because I am only clay. I don’t look like anything, I have no expectations, because at the bottom you can only see the bottom.

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Yes, ripped up in those waves that came before, there were mistakes that put me on the bottom, a wrong decision, a bad medicine combo, a relentless negative narrative that tells me I don’t deserve anything. A heartless barrage of should and musts that are never met.

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After days, hours, minutes at the bottom I spot a tiny little swirl. Is it an opportunity? Because I am this lump, could I be formed into something different- maybe not even something better which is what the world would expect from one on the bottom, but something different? Surely that would take a lot of work, because I am at the bottom. And how does that work even begin?

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“So I went down to the potter’s shop and found him making something on his wheel. And as I watched, the clay vessel in his hands became flawed and unusable. So, the potter started again with the same clay. He crushed and squeezed and shaped it into another vessel that was to his liking. In that moment again I heard God’s word for his rebellious people. Oh, people of Israel can I not do the same to you as this potter has done? You are like clay in my hands- I will mold you as I see fit.” Jeremiah 3-6

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The potter started “with the same clay.” He didn’t throw it away and get some good fresh stuff, some brand-new baby straight from the womb to start a life free from regret and shame and mistakes.

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Is the work to turn the clay into something “Of his liking” the job of the clay? Is the clay expected to fashion itself into a beautiful vase or statue of magnificence? No, the work begins with the potter and the clay just has to allow itself to be transformed.

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I see the swirl- the opportunity- to allow God to do something with me to His liking. I could take my lumpy arms and start to etch out a nice big long “To Do” list of what it will take for me to be that woman I was- or to be different from her. But I won’t. Not today, sitting at the bottom, I trust the Potter. I trust God to make me to his liking- what could be better than to be admired by God?

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So, my prayer is for Him to take full control of my life. I will again ride the swirls, but in a way that God sees me riding them. I will still be crashed by waves, but God will use them to shape me to His liking.

My job is to be the clay.

Angst

I know what it’s like to wait on important news. Haven’t we all been in that spot, waiting for the phone to ring about a new job, or waiting to hear about a loved one in turmoil? Recently I had to have a bunch of medical tests. I had gone to a cardiologist about my incredibly high cholesterol and chest pains. The doctor called my cholesterol “horrendous” and “disastrous.” It devastated me.

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I have been working on coming to terms with my leukemia and now this, another medical problem! I was scheduled for a nuclear stress test a week later. It was a very long week to wait for this test. My husband and I prayed a lot. I became anxious, panicky and even more nauseous than normal.

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During this week of angst, I was grateful for the volunteer job I have once a week at a local hospital- grateful for the busyness of it to get my mind off my worries and this horrible week of waiting. I work in the Women’s Clinic that performs mammograms and Dexa scans and my job is to be always cheerful, friendly and soothing as I show patients to the dressing rooms, and make sure they feel comfortable while waiting in the small room for the tech to arrive.

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Another part of my job is to mail letters of follow up to patients. Most of these letters are to remind patients to get their annual mammogram or to let them know the test was normal, but there are these letters in the stack that inform patients that an abnormal result occurred. The findings were inconclusive, abnormal or need additional follow up.
As I sat folding the letters and placing them in envelopes, when I came across one of the “bad” letters, it dawned on me that the person receiving this news will be worried, maybe even panicked and devastated. They would have to wait for an additional test to find out if something terrible may be wrong with them. I knew what that was like- I was feeling it that day about my own foreboding test.

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I began to pray over each letter as I folded it and stuffed it in its envelope. From the moment that letter was opened, these women would need God’s strength. I prayed they would be blessed with calm as they waited. I prayed they would get an appointment quickly to lessen the sleepless nights. I prayed that even though their minds would turn to the worst-case scenario, God would be there no matter what.

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My tests came out good. I still have this very high cholesterol but it’s being treated with medicine and I have to keep monitoring it. So, very similar to my leukemia blood tests, I have to have lipid tests regularly as well, but the prognosis isn’t as dire as I had originally thought, and I don’t need to be on pins and needles every day. Thank you, Lord!

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But I’ll never know how the follow up tests go with the women I pray for. I truly believe God is working with each of them during their journey. Through my own angst I’m called as a prayer warrior, stuffing envelopes and providing warmth and God’s love to every soul who comes through the clinic. One or two of them will get bad news and God will be there for them.

“The righteous will have no fear of bad new; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7