I have a confession: I am terrible at sharing. I put return address labels on my phone chargers and computer chargers, customized “Ms. Green” stamps inside all of my books, and am acutely aware of how many Keurig cups I have at all times. I buy books from Amazon in the masses, preparing for a one day amazing classroom library, but the thought actually of lending one of these books into the sticky hands of an eight year old gives me an anxiety attack.
But I’m starting to believe that this isn’t the way I’m supposed to live. I’m starting to believe that by holding on so tightly to these things, I am missing out on what open hands might have to offer.
This isn’t the life that I am called to. I am not called to be paralyzed by the fear that something of mine might end up stained or broken or lost, or that by giving away one K-cup I won’t have enough coffee for myself in the morning. By hanging on to all of these things, my palms are no longer open towards Him, but instead, they are clenched tight, unwilling to share, unwilling to sacrifice, unwilling to grow. My hands are no longer available to do His work.
But I think the idea of sharing goes further than books and K-cups. I think it goes deeper: how we spend our time, how we listen, how we speak, the level to which we are willing to be vulnerable. When we withhold our stories, when we withhold our time, or our service, we are clinging to ourselves, to our own comforts and our own securities, rather than asking to see what else Christ has in store.
One of my favorite lines from the Valley of Vision is this, “mold me wholly into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay.” it comes from Isaiah 64:8, “yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are the work of your hand.” As a potter forms clay.
The hands of a potter are rough and calloused, yet gentle enough to create beautiful things. Worked and worn, entirely dedicated to their craft. These are the hands our Father used as He created our inmost being, as he gently and carefully put us together. These are the hands that Jesus continues to use as He forms us more and more into His image every day. The beautiful, open hands of a loving Creator. An artist. A potter.
These are the hands I want. Open hands. Hands open in a posture of prayer and surrender, willing to give, willing to receive, willing to work and sacrifice and love and create. As the Potter forms me, I want my hands to mirror His. Ready to reach out and to touch, to give and sacrifice, to do the work planned ahead for me.
So I’m letting go of my things (while also hoping that my roommates don’t take this as an open invitation to ravage my store of K-cups, because, come on guys, those are expensive), with open hands for the Lord, asking that He would focus my attentions away from myself and towards the greater work of His Kingdom. Asking that He would continue to mold me, that He would turn my palms up towards Him in a position of worship and submission and love.
As a potter forms clay.