Friday, May 1, 2009

In the Fire

When I traveled to China to adopt my precious daughter I had an experience that really spoke to my heart and soul. On the first day in Beijing we did a lot of sightseeing. We saw the Ming Tombs, the Great Wall, and also did some shopping. On the way to the Wall, we stopped at a Cloisonne factory and gift shop.

We were able to walk into different little shacks on the property and watch different steps in the process of making these gorgeous items. I am probably NOT explaining cloisonne well, but basically it is pottery onto which a pattern is created, using copper and some sort of paint...enamel-ish, I believe. The patterns are painted, and then the copper is used to edge them. I may be totally wrong in the sequence here. The ONE thing I do know is that they are fired once they go through all this preparation.

The kiln is HUGE, and holds many pieces. I do NOT know the temperatures, but I CAN tell you that those were the only outbuildings that were remotely warm. Buildings do not have heat in China, lots of times, and certainly poor factory workers are not going to get any! These people sat for hour upon hour, probably 10 hours a day, maybe more. All for the princely sum of probably around $125-175 a WEEK...which was meant to support a family!

Anyhow. I and my fellow travelers wandered about, and a bunch of us landed in the kiln house. There wasn't much to see, so everyone else wandered away. But for some reason I stayed put. Oh, how glad I am that I did! Moments after they all left, the man opened the kiln. Using long wooden implements (much like giant chopsticks!!) he began to remove items from the kiln and set them on the floor. I was disappointed, to say the least. Apparently this had been a batch of very dark items, all one color, nothing much to look at. In fact, they were ugly.

BUT THEN...they began to cool. And slowly the colors emerged. At first they were very dark colors, very muted, and you really couldn't see the copper. But as they continued to cool, beauty! The colors brightened, lightened, and literally shone with beauty. And I found myself speechless and breathless at the change.

How like this is our walks with our Heavenly Father. Often He must allow us to go through the fires of trial, and when we come out on the other side, it appears that we are ruined. AND YET!
As we allow His love to flow through us and over us again, as we allow HIM to comfort us, we become much better examples of HIS beauty. I try to keep this in mind when things get tough!
Beautify me Father, if You MUST. I trust You.


No comments:

Post a Comment