I’ve decided to take up pottery.
There might be nothing more soothing to me in this moment than the chance to sink my hands deep into a mess of clay and spin something wonderful into existence on my little potter’s wheel.
Plus, I think I’d look cute in an apron with clay smeared on the edge of my hairline and I had a semi-fine infatuation with Joey Potter, from the Creek, for a good five years so I figure this is the closest I’ll get to being a Potter, this whole pottery gig. Unless I meet a Dawson somewhere down the line but that’s for another day.
So why Hannah the Potter so suddenly? What’s fueling the visions of vases and pots & adobe stoves?
I need to make a basin, people. A very large basin.
Lately I’ve spent my workdays knee deep in monitoring the media of the food crisis in East Africa and, while I know surviving in this field requires a focus on the solution instead of the problem, I flick through enough tragic photos of the babies, hungry and needing in that area, to wonder: Who catches their tears? Who catches and counts their tears, values them enough to put them in a big basin? A Big Basin of Salty Tears.
Who treks out into the night, into the thick and high grasses of Africa, to gather up and account for the tears of babies crying with no relief?
I’d probably fist fight God if I could. If I thought I stood a chance. If I thought the swiping at the Creator the Universe would even get me anywhere or offer me anymore clarity into my latest question for Him: WHY do some people seem placed on this earth for Suffering and Survival?
But I can imagine God holding His Pinky against my forehead, a flimsy but mighty effort in holding me back, as I am Swinging, Swinging, Swinging.
I’ll grow tired and eventually sit down and that’s when He will finally speak… “Hannah, haven’t I told you time and time again? I didn’t make you for the question ‘Why?’ That’s a manmade question and no human will surely ever know the answer in his or her lifetime.”
“You could spend an eternity asking why…Why suffering? Why pain? Why less? Why more? Why Sunday and not Monday? Why today but not tomorrow? Why you and not me? Why me this time, not you? Why him? Why her? Why this but not that? And why this? Why this? Ah, Little One, you are wasting time. Precious time I’ve given you.”
I’d probably whine to God. Pull out a crumbled laundry list of excuses to rattle off to him, reasons why I think He needs to be clearer with me. More specific. Because I cannot save babies. And I cannot hop on planes to get to Africa and collect the tears in my amateur Basin.
He’s God, so naturally he’ll pull something out from his pockets as well. I think God has full pockets. Ridiculously Full Pockets. So what would he pull? Two pieces of paper, shining like tin foil, of course.
And he’ll place them side by side before me.
“Please don’t make me sign some contract,” I’ll wince. “I’ll only let you down.”
“No contract. Just job descriptions. Read and compare, Little One. Read and compare.”
“You & I, of course.”
God, God, God, you are tricky and cunning and you’ve got this delirious grin but I will not be able to help but be in awe when I stare down at the gleaming sheets of paper. Only to find that God’s “To Do” list is far more cluttered than mine.
Mend 10,283,333 broken hearts. Fix 56,203,494 friendships. Open 33,293,492,310 pairs of eyes. Get 888,929,841,111 people to their destinations safely. Heal 710,296,443,090 sick people. Help uncover 39,283,555 pairs of lost keys, 66,327,000 lost eye glasses, and 101,672 left socks.
All in a day’s work.
And yet my job description will hold a single word in the middle of it. Scribbled Big & Bold. Juicy & Red.
He absolutely knows that I’ll flip the paper over, look for something more. So he will have already thought to write another message on the back. Even bolder than the first.
THAT’S IT. THAT’S ALL. LOVE & LOVE & LOVE. WHEN IN DOUBT, LOVE. WHEN NOT IN DOUBT, LOVE HARDER. WHEN STRUGGLING, LET YOURSELF BE LOVED. WHEN STRONG, LOVE FIERCELY. LOVE, LITTLE ONE, LOVE. AND ALL WILL BE WELL.
–Love, The Guy Who Catches the Tears Before You Even Think to Mold a Basin