Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ugly Brown Clay by Donna Clayton

This week the Lord taught me an important lesson using the lips and actions of my three year old grandson.

Last Christmas, Conner received a 10 pack of modeling clay, one stick of every color in the rainbow. I only recently dared to open the packaging because clay is gummy, and it leaves a residue on the surfaces it touches. To let my little artist get his creative juices flowing, I got some wax paper and placed it on the table so he could have a “safe surface” to work on. 

The first day he played with the white clay, the only color I gave to him. He enjoyed making a snowman and some shapes, being satisfied with one color. The next day I gave him some red, and that is when he spotted the package containing the rest of the colors. He asked to play with all of them, but I told him we needed to keep them separate (you know, so they would stay true to color – my thoughts – not his!). The following day he repeatedly asked me if he could get the other colors out of the package. I said no, explaining to him that if he got all of the colors out and mashed them together, the colors would not be pretty anymore; they would mix together and the clay would turn into an ugly brown color. He seemed to accept my explanation.

The next afternoon I was cooking dinner as he played in the next room at his little table. I looked in from the stove, and he ordered, “Don’t look at me!” which was a red flag to my grandmotherly instincts. I marched in there to see what he was doing. There on the table was every stick of modeling clay all twisted together. His face had guilt written all over it. 

“You just HAD to get the other colors out of the package, didn’t you? What did I tell you?” I admonished him.  

“But it didn’t turn ugly brown!” was his three year old well-reasoned answer. How he can rationalize so well at that age astounds me! His ready answer proved that he believed he could do what I told him not to as long as the consequences didn’t come to pass

Another day, I put Conner on my bed to take his nap. When I came back in the room a few minutes later to check on him, he had pulled the sheet up to his neck and was holding his legs tightly together. Guilt was clearly written all over his face - again. When I asked him what he was hiding, he admitted to nothing. I moved his clenched leg and I found my ear buds for my phone. Busted!

I am sure this is how God sees us. We try to hide our disobedience, admitting nothing, while God clearly sees the guilt on our hearts. From personal experience, I can tell you we end up with worse messes than ugly brown clay. But thanks be to God Who takes our ugly messes and conforms them into something beautiful.  

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