“What are you writing about?” A friend of mine asks as he plops himself down on the couch beside me and my laptop.
“I don’t know,” I respond, though I have half a page of text glowing on the screen in front of me. I came there to write something, but now I am not sure. I write anyways. I’ve been here before and I am beginning to see. Something will come.
Like when I want a salad. But what kind? Greek? One loaded with dried fruits and nuts? Roasted vegetable? I make the quinoa anyways, to build momentum. A dressing? I am craving balsamic so I grab the vinegar, oil, dijon and garlic. There’s a box of salad greens in the fridge, a bag of leftover chickpeas, a jar of olives. Ahh, now I know the one. I dig amidst the jars for the sun-dried tomatoes. My vision’s getting clearer. I grab the almonds from the pantry. Mediterranean. That’s it.
Think about how a glorious pearl is made. An irritant – a grain of sand, a parasite – becomes trapped within an oyster. In self-defense, the oyster produces a substance (called “nacre”) to cover the irritant with. Layer upon layer of nacre is placed over the irritant until, finally, that shimmering pearl forms. And the longer the pearl remains in the shell, the more nacre is produced, and the larger the pearl becomes. What begins as something ugly, something microscopic and insignificant, is transformed into something incredibly beautiful.
Saltwater pearls can take anywhere from 5-20 years to form. So we need to be patient with our ideas, our hearts, our lives. We often don’t know the beauty we are creating, the beauty we are becoming, in the moment. We just keep working, in faith, letting those ideas flow through our fingertips like clay between a potters’ hands. Pushing and squeezing and pressing and smoothing. And as we make, we allow ourselves to be molded, too. We don’t know the final product. We trust the process. We trust the maker.
As I get more involved in this profound experience of making something from nothing, of being surprised time and time again at what blooms from my heart, my faith grows. There is guidance being given to me and He is helping me see. I am a jar of clay carrying a great treasure. Somehow the light is shining through.