Working on the Wheel

Job 33:6 I am just like you before God; I too have been taken from clay.

Clay that has been cut from the rock, carried by the river and has weathered the storms, is ready for the Potter’s use. Such clay can be wedged or kneaded, measured and weighed and placed on the centre of the Potter’s wheel.

The wheel is kicked into action spinning as fast as possible. Clay mixed with lots of water is thrown over the spinning lump. The Potter grasps the lump in both hands and squeezes inwards and upwards. It feels a little uneven. He pushes the lump downwards while holding it central with his other hand. This will go on a few times until the clay feels ready – even and adaptable to the Potter’s will.

The Potter presses his thumb into the centre of the spinning lump. He presses downwards and outwards. A simple cylinder is formed. Next, the Potter, draws the wall of the pot upwards. He uses fingers on the inside following his fingers on the outside. The clay responds and rises. Now the lump can be made into something useful – a bowl, a jar, an amphora, a plate – whatever the Potter chooses to make.

Isa 64:8 Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

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