We are the clay and You are our potter, and we are all the work of your hands.

This image is found in the great psalm, included in Chapter 64:8 of the prophet Isaiah by the unnamed writer from his school; it dates back to the end of Jewish Exile, 537 BCE.

Yet, this image’s roots are much older: from the Yahwistic writer of Genesis 2-7, drawn from 4,000 BCE—Indeed, the dynamic in the Jewish psyche which nonetheless speaks if we listen and obey.  

Such hands still form, rework, and reclaim life as we experience it each moment in the actualization of our birthrights: To pierce setbacks elicits new courage, to unravel wisdom’s intricacies enlarges understanding, and to rejoice in intimacy deepens hope in this invisible Touch that keeps us whole.

To maintain such moistness so as to be malleable, though, requires attentive and gentle discipline. Only with heart-mind-openness to His Touch can this occur.

And how badly this openness is needed in Ukraine’s “special military operation,” now in its third week: Its woundedness dries and cracks apart spirits like broken sherds—both the aggressor and their prey. Terror seeps into psychic pores and hardens spiritual functions. Would that these hostilities lead to global purification.

Only intact clay pots can hold the message of the Potter’s unconditional love and share it with others, a reality consonant with our ancient creation story, found in the book of Genesis.