At age 22 while living in Mongolia I developed a severe chronic pain condition that effects every aspect of my life. Continuing this blog reminds me that life's challenges are stepping stones meant to lift us, not roadblocks meant to defeat us.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Poem. (not written by a poet.)

I am not a poet. In fact the only time I remember trying to write poetry was when it was for a 5th grade project, and we needed to make our own poetry books. I thought it was a very difficult assignment ;) But I was looking through a study journal I used in Mongolia today and I found this poem I had written a night or two before I flew to Hong Kong. Our mission president had asked us to study consecration and sanctification and so much was going through my mind as the possibility of my mission coming to an early close was becoming more of a reality. In those late last hours in Mongolia, these words came to my mind. I think the Lord was and is still trying to teach me.

I am still realizing what it really means to be in the Master's hands, and to surrender all to Him. I have taken some pottery and sculpting classes and I love the messy clay covered rooms, if you have ever worked with clay you can probably picture a room or studio covered with lumps of clay similar to the poem below. ;) I am still not sure what this poem should be called.

A master in his studio looks out at his supplies,

There is clay a plenty to fulfill his grand design.

He picks up a piece of clay and attempts to start,

But is interrupted by a cry, “Hey I’m not your piece of art!”

This clay is hardened, cracked and cold, shapeless and ugly too,

Then the master kindly explains “I have great plans for you.”

“If you will let me sculpt you, and will be moldable in my hands,

I shall make you beautiful. If you could only see my plan.”

But the stubborn clay refuses and remains cracked and dry,

“I can not shape or mould you” the master softly cries.

“You have become too hardened and refuse to follow my will.”

He placed it on the table, it remains cold and shapeless still.

He moves on and starts working and things are going fine,

This clay is soft and allows the master to shape his design.

It comes time to remove little pieces, unwanted clay from here and there,

But once again the master stops as a voice fills the air.

“Haven’t I been shaped enough? You’ve improved me with your hands,

Now don’t pick or take anymore, this is where the sculpting ends.”

The master sighs and thinks “If only they knew,”

And then he kindly explains “I have great plans for you.”

“If you will let me sculpt you, and will hold nothing back,

I shall make you beautiful, in nothing will you lack.”

But try as the master might the clay refused to give

The pieces that obstructed the beauty hid within.

Then a voice called across the room, “Master, use me.”

“I am of no worth here on my own, I will follow thee.”

The master gratefully gets to work, the clay following his every will,

The clay couldn’t see the grand design but he trusted the master’s skill.

The clay patiently endures as beauty is revealed,

But sculptures tools are sharp, and pain the clay did feel.

“Must the process be so rough?” the clay meekly asked,

“Thou are poking, cutting, ripping, pressing. Is it necessary for the task?”

“Yes my child,” the artist replies, “ thank you for giving me your trust,

I only remove that which is unwanted, and cause pain only when I must.”

The master smiles and says “I have great plans for you.

With your humble trust in me, there is nothing we can’t do.”

The clay replied “I know thou lovest thy creations, and only want our best.

I do not know thy grand design, but I don’t need to know the rest.”

The master keeps on working and today is shaping still,

There is no end to what he can create when we give all and follow His will.

We too are in the Master’s hands, what will we each do

When the Master kindly says, “I have great plans for you.”

I know how I want to answer that question, but actually doing it and putting up with the pokes and pricks is a bit harder ;) But when we can remember the reason for the pushing, pinching, and purifying we don't become bitter or angry. I've sculpted things before and it is completely necessary to remove pieces and cut things away. God is the artist, and can see all the unwanted pieces. And if He wants to change certain things about me, then I should let Him. ;)


  1. Hello,

    You don't know me as I am one of the many far-flung readers following (in silence) your story from long-distance but I had to comment on your poem. Inspiring and masterful!
    You indicate it was not written by a poet but those are the first false words I've read on this blog. Your untitled work flows poetically while simultaneously being spiritually profound. Exceptional. Please continue to share your work!

    Your attitude and strength through your trials is an awesome illustration of following the Master's example. Your poem only furthers this blog's success.

    Thank you for making it accessible to your readers!

    -Bryan in Houston

  2. Thank you. It means a lot, and thanks for your support :) - ashley

  3. This poem is absolutely beautiful and a great reminder said so well! Thank you Ashley, this is truly special!!