Living Without Wax

mosaic pot.jpg

But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand. Isaiah 64:8

One of my weekly reads is the email sermon I receive from Bruce Goettsche from Union Church in Illinois.  I find that much of what he says is applicable in my life.  Last week's sermon contained this information:

"In Bible days it took many hours for a potter to shape, fire (in a handmade kiln), and cool a piece of cookware. Unfortunately, because of the uneven heat of a wood-fired furnace, cracks would often show up in the clay during the cooling process.

If you were a true craftsman, you would shatter the piece that had cracks and start over. However, some potters just filled in the cracks with wax and then painted over everything. The pot looked good. That vessel might hold up the first few times it was used. However, if something hot was placed inside of it, the wax would melt and expose the defect. This is why honest potters began putting the inscription 'Without Wax' on the bottom of their pots. It meant it was a “vessel of integrity”.

The person who leads a blameless life and does what is right is living 'without wax'. They are not pretenders. Such people are not perfect but you know that they are consistently moving in the direction of full obedience."

The more I thought about this metaphor the more I realized how aptly it applies to life with chronic illness.

Have you ever pasted a smile on your face and insisted you were "fine" even though you were not? 

Have you even insisted that you could do something yourself when deep inside you knew you couldn't?

Have you ever refused help out of the embarrassment of being in need?

Wax.

Wax.

More wax.

Oh, how I have liberally applied the wax to my own life to hide my problems.

I remember how I fought having to use a wheelchair when my ability to walk long distances was compromised.

I know I've not wanted to admit I need help with my housework.

My list could go on and on.

I'm realizing that some of us are simply (and I apologize in advance for this!) cracked pots.

It has nothing to do with our integrity or blamelessness - it has everything to do with our illnesses.  No amount of integrity can heal the cracks that present themselves in our lives though challenges.

The integrity in having a chronic illness?  

Being able to show those cracks to the world and not feel the need to hide them.

And who knows …. all those cracks that make us feel broken? 

They may just end up making us beautiful in God's eyes.

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