Monday, March 26, 2012

Empty Vessels

I love bowls. Cups, vases, pottered things. Ceramic things. Glass, plastic, terra cotta things. I have several sitting around my room (which is also my office) and they are mostly empty. Until yesterday, they were all empty. Except, ok...except the one that has some delicious candy in it. But that is a fullness that ebbs and wanes according to my appetite.

It's just that as beautiful as I know these things are, I never know what to put in them. Like a new journal full of empty pages or a new house with barren rooms. I want to stay true to the integrity of the piece, but the integrity of my peace, too. And I just can never decide what goes in something so beautiful, so inpsiring, and so promising as an empty pot.

It is kind of intimidating.

And I really didn't know that I loved them empty. It hadn't occurred to me. Once in awhile, one will hold something transient - candy, for example. Or some beads and a fake carnation. Or my workin'-outside gloves, hat, and glasses. But those things come and go; that pot could be empty again in a second.

Yesterday, I removed said gloves, hat, and glasses and filled one of those pots - a plain brown flowerpot I'd scored at Lowe's for something ridiculous like 50 cents (clearance!) - with a beautiful flower. Now, I love the flower. A pink bromeliad, which should thrive in my low-light room. And I love the pot. Simple, brown, but somehow elegant.

As I was falling asleep last night, though, I couldn't decide if I liked them together.

They are beautiful. I guess "they" are now "it." It is beautiful. And while I'm thrilled at having the flower, I'm kind of sad I lost a pot. It's not like I can go out and buy an identical pot to sit empty again; it wouldn't be the same. That pot is committed now to that flower until the flower dies or outgrows it.

I'm just not sure what it is. But then I realized this: had I not put the flower in that pot, I would have still been anxious to get that flower of its store pot...just to have the beautiful store pot to sit around, too.


(Don't ask me what I would do with the flower without giving up a pot. I haven't a clue. It is a beautiful flower, and I absolutely love it, too, for its own merits. I have wanted one of these for a long time.)

There's just something about an empty pot. And empty vessel. It has so much promise, so much potential. It is elegant sitting there by itself, defined by its own beauty and not by whatever may or may not be in it. The candy looks delicious, but did you notice the dish? It is elegant and enticing. I just want to walk over and hold it, to see what it is, to feel it in my hands.

I want to be that empty vessel. I want to be elegant in who I am, standing apart and confident, not needing to be defined by what is in me. I want to invite the potter Who formed me to be the potter Who fills me (see that play on potter? I've been working on that for awhile.). I want to stand empty before my Lord, to be held in the hands that formed me, to be full of promise and potential, to be ready to be filled to overflowing, to receive whatever is poured into me.

There's just something about an empty a journal full of empty pages or a new house full of empty rooms. I don't want to be laden with something that this world says I should carry around. I want God to look at me and decide what goes in here. I want Him to look at what I am on my own, the beauty and elegance He's created in me, and find a way to grow and honor that as He fills me to overflowing.

Which is not to say there's no room for flowers.... A little more on that tomorrow.

Are you living as an empty vessel? Poured out before God, seeking His wisdom to fill you?

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