It was a beautiful fall day, clear blue skies with a soft breeze, as I waited for the train with my friend Sylvia. “What exhibit are we going to see today at the Cantor Museum at Stanford?” I asked her. “I think the Rodin statues.” she mused. “Hmm…Rodin, didn’t he sculpt the famous The Kiss and The Thinker?” “Yes, and the Gates of Hell,” Sylvia replied. Excitement began to grow as the train rushed us to the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto.
We met up with my fellow artists from our Arts of the Covenant group, a faith based group of artists who meet monthly and exhibit our work in gallery shows.
As we began our tour, the docent, an elderly lady with a walker, surprised us all by the fascinating story she told of Auguste Rodin, complete with pictures of him throughout his life. The museum has 200 ‘casts’ or bronze statues of his work, the largest collection outside of Paris.
As we passed through the galleries, I was pleased to see his statue The Kiss and The Thinker and took my photo by it. Next we came to his work Gates of Hell and I was overcome with emotion. These large
doors depicting the Gates of Hell had over 20 figures and took him 20 years to sculpt. I said a quiet prayer of thanks, that I would never have to go through those gates, as I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior and His free gift of eternal life.
“I wonder how he kept the clay wet all those years?”, I commented to my fellow artisans. “How do you even make a cast?”I pondered. I grew up working with clay and throwing pots on the potters wheel but hadn’t specialized in ceramics, so was unsure. “His talent is remarkable, how he molds his subjects in such likeness and beauty.” I reflected.
It got me thinking. We are referred to as lumps of clay in the Bible and God as the potter, molding and making us into a beautiful image of Himself. “But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8) Like Rodin, God chips away at our imperfections, refining us through the process. We need to admit our powerlessness in His hands and give Him permission to shape us as He wishes. But we often fight Him, trying to jump off the potter’s wheel and take charge of our lives.
The Bible also refers to us as jars of clay. “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Corinthians 4:7) His Holy Spirit shines out through the cracks of our pots leading other to Him. Just like Rodin’s sculptures reflect his creative mastery, so God’s creative mastery shines through us, His creations.
As the tour ended, we gathered for lunch in the cafe, and then for a walk amongst statues in the garden. I thanked the Lord for His gift of creativity that allowed me to point others to His love and saving grace through my artwork and writing. Yes, even as a cracked pot.
Do you need to ask the Lord to use your brokenness and pain to be a vessel for his love and light to others? Do you need to ask His forgiveness for trying to be the potter in your life rather than the clay? If so, please pray this prayer:
Dear Jesus, I admit I have tried to run my own life and have made a mess of it. I want to ask you into my heart as my Lord and Savior, forgiving my sins and mistakes and filling me with your Holy Spirit. I receive your free gift of eternal life with you in Heaven. Thank you I will not have to enter the gates of hell and have eternal separation from you. Have your way in me as your child and creation. Amen.
To see my Scripture paintings and greeting cards, visit ‘my art’ above or www.giftsofhisglory.com. I invite you to purchase my art and share His light with others in your life.
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