By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Two were the pieces that lay on the shelf:
One was a vessel refined,
Of beauty and grace and a dignified air,
The other a much simpler kind.

Clay, just a lump, but as little to see,
Nothing to flatter the eye,
The one would be bought at a price very great,
And the other be simply passed by.

Behold, but the potter, the maker of clay,
He gazed upon what he had made;
He picked up the one, for the work had been done,
And he knew she was ready for trade.

"You are a beauty, and you shall do well,
Much you have learned and you know,
But never forget that the day that we met;
You were "this" clay long ago.

A look of disdain on the beautiful vase,
As proudly she gazed at herself,
A great sense of pride had crept in as she dried,
And a longing to leave the old shelf.

"I will be sold for a fine piece of gold,
And I will be put on display,
But you shall remain, you are simple and plain,"
Said the vase to the small lump of clay.

Oh but the clay that was shapeless, unformed,
Though little the eye would behold,
The potter was pleased when he looked down at her,
For she was so ready to mold.

"You are potential unseen to the eye,
A clay with a purpose and plan,
Few will behold what I see here today,
And hold in the palm of my hand.

A clay in the rough and yet suited for use;
In humbleness ready to mold.
For beauty is not what you see with the eye,
But what you are willing to hold."

Oh how the clay would respond to the pain,
Forgetting that there was a plan;
But the potter undaunted, reworked, and remade;
Forming her out of his hand.

So much to endure and so little to see,
Of what would the purpose be for?
But the potter could see what the vessel would be,
And he'd heat up the flame even more.

Then out of the heat came a beautiful shape,
No longer a wet lump of clay;
But pressured and fashioned to beautiful form,
Created for more than display.

The beautiful vase gazed down at herself,
And looked at the potter so wise;
"Because of your hand, I am what I am,
Thank you for merciful eyes."

The touch of the potter was gentle and kind,
His presence and purpose were true:
"You shall go out as a service to man,
For I've made provision for you.

A vessel of mercy, a vessel of grace,
You were created to be;
Chosen, designed, and completely refined,
To hold what is priceless ... to me."