3 clumps of playdough.
Clump # 1= This is type is taken out of its container and left untouched. Everyone knows what happens when you leave playdough out overnight, it doesn't just sit and stay all moist, and fine, but it actually drys up completely and becomes surprisenly hard. You can't mold it, you can't play with it...its useless.
Clump #2= This type of playdough is taken out of the container yet molded and played with and held. I haven't tried it yet, but my hypothesis would be that if you were to take a ball of playdough and constantly work it, and play with it, it would take longer to dry out vs. the untouched clump of dough. However, to make myself sound even smarter....(jk) I know that our hands extract the moisture from playdough, or clay. So, sooner or later, clump #2 will end up drying out as well.
Clump #3= (Get ready this is the most exciting, joyfully explained clump of dough yet...so stop skimming this...and actually pay attention to this one.. ;)
Ok, this clump is the clump of dough..or clay that is kept in a potter's hand. A perfessional potters hand for this matter. A professional potter knows that he must keep dipping his hands in water and how often he must do it in order to keep his work from drying out and cracking.
These three clumps of playdough I saw as our hearts. There are people who have such hardened hearts from past events and circumstances that they don't let any hand whether its a persons, or God's touch them, and help them heal.
Then there are people like me who have grown up in a Christian home and setting all of their lives or they just know how to do the acts of "love" for people, and to fall into the empty motions of doing church, and worshipping God the right way. We know how to mold our own hearts into looking like God's will for us real well. Our actions are beautiful looking and admireable yet our heart is not in it, our motives are wrong. I call this the "look good heart". They know how to mold our hearts very well but because our hands draw moisture from the clay, we never the less always come back cracked, like the playdough does, and feeling useless. We come back to God over and over again admitting that we can't do it on our own. And for some reason down the line we give into the lie of believing that we are not allowed to actually care for someone, and that we don't have anything to offer.
Rob Bell, in his Nooma video titled, "Sunday" Explains this type of heart very well as he uses the analogy of bringing home his wife flowers. If he came home to his wife holding flowers and blessed her with them, and then immediately saying to her, while putting them in her hands, "I got you these flowers only because its my duty as a husband and its what we are supposed to do." The whole meaning of his gift for his wife is lost. In fact, he explains that she probably wouldn't even want them anymore because it no was out of the heart, but an empty act. So often how we do this. God wants our hearts, not our actions and sacrifices.
"Love the Lord your God with all your HEART, mind and soul."
The third heart however is a heart compeletly surrendered to God. The heart that is daily set in God's strong and skilled hands. The Potter's hand. A heart that is constantly calling out hungry for Jesus to annoint it and keep it wet. A prayer that says, God, here I am as I love on that friend who I don't get along with at all lately, God here is my heart as I come in contact with the person who makes my coffee, or the Wal-Mart employee who is ringing up my items. God, here is my heart as I pray. Not to give "flowers", but my heart in relationships. God here is my heart. I can't mold my own heart. God, mold my heart. Keep it soft and open.
I don't mean for this to be a cheesy blog about the Potter's hand and how he molds us and shapes us into how he designed us. (Even though its awesome, and so true) But I mean for this to be something that you really read, and challenge yourself to think about as you go on with your day today. What clump of dough are you during the day?
So I really pray this for us:
That we can live not as a heart that sits, and is locked away from being touched or affected by anyone or thing. Not as a heart that is being molded by ourselves, people, things, circumstances, because even though its being molded and there is heart in this, it will sooner or later dry up, it will break. It will stop being able to be molded, and come up discouraged everytime. God help us to give our hearts over to you before we even think about starting our day. Your hand annoints. Your hand molds by constantly keeping it from drying out. You allow love to flow with out our hearts growing hard or cracked. God you do annoint. God you do refresh. God you come and soften hearts. Even if we have the hardest of hardest hearts, you really do come and lavish our hard, cold hearts with such grace, love, and the beauty of your sweet presence. Amen :)