Saturday, September 10, 2011

Fill My Cup

Jim drinks coffee like an addict.  I joke that his blood has been replaced by coffee.  If he were ever in an emergency, they wouldn’t ask blood type, they would ask decaf or regular.  I would respond with Dunkin Donuts Hazelnut Full Strength-Black as his life source.  I’ve known this since our first date when his cup of java kept my hands warm.  I don’t touch the stuff.  Can’t stomach it.  I had to take some medicine with cold coffee once as a child on the way to school and haven’t gotten over the effects.  So I’ve used Jim’s coffee as a hand warmer and house scenter since our first days together.

For our first anniversary we went to Seagrove, the pottery capital of the world (or maybe just the south). It’s a great town just outside of Asheboro.  The weekend before Thanksgiving there’s a pottery festival where area potters display their wares in one of the school’s gyms.  There are potters on the school grounds, some throwing, some firing right there.  It’s really awesome seeing all of these goods that are made by hand.  The talent here is simply amazing.  They make it look so easy to throw clay onto a wheel and create beautiful vessels.  And useful ones at that!

We were on the search for lots of things that weekend.  The most important thing was a coffee cup for Jim.  He wanted one that his hand could slide through the handle and hold the mug.  I liked the idea for warming my hands.  We tried countless.  We went to many potter’s stores, even some of their homes in search of the perfect fit.  Just as we were leaving the last night, right as it was getting dark, we stopped into Lufkin Pottery.  It’s one of the last ones on Highway 220.  A husband and wife greeted us and pointed us to the mugs.  Jim found THE mug and picked up two to be on the safe side.  Coffee mug bliss. 

He began using the mugs daily, often not washing them.  It was as if they needed a coffee patina.  Gross, I know, but I didn’t use them.  Enter our precious children.  One day Brady was being helpful and tried carrying one of THE mugs into the kitchen for Jim.  It broke.  Brady was crushed, Jim was crushed and part of me was crushed.  We had to remember and teach Brady that it was a material thing and we were all okay.  About two or three weeks ago Jim opened the sacred coffee cabinet to start making his brew.  Something fell out of the cabinet and dropped on the mug.  It fell on the last mug at just the right angle to break it.  We were really crushed this time.  Our last mug.  Just months away from celebrating its ninth year with us.  I put it in my noggin to get in touch with the potter to buy another, but was planning it for our anniversary.

Apparently THE mug couldn’t wait a few months.  This morning Jim woke up and said, “I was thinking today would be a good day to go to the zoo.”  Okay, we have a membership thanks to my sister making it a great, free family day.  We were just getting on the interstate when I look at Jim and say, “Hey, why don’t we head to Seagrove...”  As he then proceeds to finish my sentence “...and go to Lufkin to get a new mug.”  I love  that we are SOMETIMES so connected.  It sure beats when he’s speaking blue and I’m screaming PINK.

We detoured the family fun trip to Lufkin before heading to the zoo. Surprisingly the boys were excited about it. Nathan asked if he could make something (I had made a bowl on our anniversary trip) and we said we were just getting a mug.  God, thanks for taking care of every little detail.

We got misdirected (thanks Google maps) and called Lufkin Pottery.  They so kindly directed us right to their front door.  Literally, their house is next door to their shop.  We were greeted by two little dogs and a hidden barking dog.  A few minutes later Sally Lufkin Saylor entered.  She is not only a very talented artist, but a deLIGHTful person.  She immediately guessed the boys ages and talked with them.  She allowed us to walk around the corner to meet the barker and her three three-week old babies. OH MY GOSH, pure sweetness.  We talked, Jim picked out mugs.  Sally made hand plates with the boys (yes, Nathan did get to make something today) and I sat in a rocking chair holding a dog cherishing the day with my family. It was one of those moments in time where I envision God looking down at His children and smiling.  I can’t even put the day into adequate words.  Jim paid for his mugs and Sally’s husband Don looked at us and said, “I want to do something for you guys.  God has just placed it on my heart.”  He showed us a Witness Crock. Something Sally makes and sells in the shop.  I had looked at it when we entered and briefly read about it, but when Don read key parts (or maybe my heart only heard key parts) tears started flowing from my eyes.

Witness Crock

We have all been made by the Potter
He has made each of us beautiful vases, crocks, pitchers
or whatever shapes He has chosen.
But, beauty needs to come from within
One side is the perfect side we wish we were.
Someone who has gone through life without any hurts.
Now see the cracks, the smalls slits, the holes and the dents.
The is the mental or verbal abuse we endured.
This is the divorce.
This crack is the death we did not understand that wounded us so badly.
The devil says, “What good are you, you cannot even hold water.
You have been rejected so much. Who would want you?
God loves you and wants you.
When you yield to Jesus, you will never be lost and alone again.
When you accept Jesus, you become part of a family
that will love you, stand beside you and teach you.

Now watch the miracle of God’s love as a candle is lit.
God’s love shines through the cracks and holes.
His love for us is a protection that nothing can ever hurt us as badly, again.
He wants our love to shine through the cracks
and reach a lost world that feels they are too broken
to be loved by such a wonderful God.
Tell your healing. Tell the love you have felt.
Let God’s love shine through you to reach His lost children.
May this crock be a tool in your witnessing.
May God bless you in your journey.
    ~Sally Lufkin Saylor

I know that God doesn’t make a mistake and planned this day and our visit for this purpose.  He put this couple in our lives nine years ago and again today to be His light.  I’ll admit that my light has been dimming.  My light was wavering.  Others may have seen it shining, but it wasn’t keeping me warm.  Have you ever felt yourself shining for others but not for yourself?  That’s what I was doing. One hour this afternoon in Seagrove, my light was relit and my soul restored through these words and their caring.  I don’t know how to respond to them. So much love in such a short amount of time.  Even if we didn’t have to return in a few weeks to pick up the hand plates or return to shop seeing them in Heaven will be a joyous event.  We’ll probably have to go without the boys because Nathan has cried himself to sleep over those puppies. It was his first time holding a puppy and he really wanted to bring one home.  Way too early for bringing one home and we’re so not ready for one now.  Kodi would throw himself into traffic.

Today we went in search of a cup.  We came home with two and my cup was filled to overflowing.  God is so good.