‘Feet of clay.’
We know the phrase. Fallible. Not such a hero, after all. Breaking apart when the strain gets too hard.
The phrase sticks to my mind this morning, like something I’ve stepped in.
I don’t want feet of clay. But here I am, with more than that. Feet, legs, arms … whole body shaped out of the clay of this earth. Form shaped in clay, with Divine breath blown into it, little spark of life inside a brittle body. Me! A body, the vulnerable flesh – clay! – that betrays my best intentions, that fails when it should stand strong, that quakes and cracks when it needs to fight.
I find the clayness of me in the physical challenges this body faces from day to day. It’s part of being human. I don’t complain because I know: I am blessed. This clay shape is holding up well – there are others struggling much harder to keep clay together into one shape, to keep walking through this life without crumbling apart.
I find the clayness of me even more where it touches the spark of spirit – me! – in my heart and thoughts: the way I can’t even get three hours into the day without losing patience and expressing frustration: dirty mouth … spitting mud. Some of my thoughts are red as clay. They leave stains, they reveal my fallibility … wanting to give up hope when life gets too hard, feeling pushed aside when I should just focus on serving, feeling frustrated when the cost of daily living rises so high it seems living is turning into surviving.
The clay touches the spark of spirit, tries to clog it with red. It’s what clay does: it sticks. It dries, it cracks, it leaves little motes of dust everywhere.
But this remains: The clayness of me cannot conquer the spark of me.
Because it is in the spark where life is contained. Life! Victory! STRENGTH!
Life that rushes in, flows out again, touches others! Life that connects with Him, the Source. Life that draws trails of light through the shadows of this claybound earth. And I know: long after clay has crumbled down to dust again, the life and the light remain.
The spark is unconquerable. It is eternal.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT
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