My friend, Steve Stutzman, shared the following story with me some time ago, via facebook, and asked me what I think. I began to weep as I read it, and that’s precisely what I told him in my response.
“I’m sitting here weeping… and can’t seem to stop. Does that answer your question?” I wrote back.
“That bad, huh?” he asked, with typical Steve-kind-of humour.
“If it was that bad, my heart wouldn’t have been yanked around like that. It’s very touching! God has given you a gift for expressing yourself, and touching hearts, that’s for sure!”
Steve has graciously allowed me to post the story here on my blog. My prayer is that you will be blessed, as I was, by this beautifully written story.
The Craftsman looked down at the masterpiece in His hands. “Perfect”, He muttered under His breath. “Just Perfect.” His helpers gathered around in awe to admire this latest of all creations by the Master. Made of fine beaten gold, and overlaid with crystal-like glass, every element and curve of the vessel gleamed. Without it gave the appearance of having been carefully carved, and within it had a polished surface. “I’ll put My Life in it one day”, the Craftsman said, as if to Himself.
The helpers quietly discussed this elegant piece of exquisite design. “So beautiful”, breathed one. “Yes, but so fragile”, said another. “Surely something so delicate and precious must be protected, not bumped or jarred”, commented yet another. “Probably no one but the Master will ever be allowed to hold or use it.”
Then the helpers fell silent. A far away look of musing appeared on the Master’s face, and a tear slid down His cheek, and fell onto the vessel in His hand. “Oh yes” , He crooned. “Yes, others will hold it. I fact, I shall make many of them, each one very like the first, yet each one very distinct. And I will give them to my servants, to have, to hold, to cherish. Some will be filled with the finest of wines, and be treasured, polished and prized. But some…” the Master choked a little, then went on. ” some will be dropped, shattered, or broken. It is up to the servant, how he chooses to treat my Masterpiece. But ALL of them will be close to my heart, for I am the Master Designer.”
As the helpers watched, they realized that each element of the chalice had been so eloquently designed, so perfectly fitted, so excellently conceived, that regardless of how broken the vessel may become, the Master could rebuild it. And not only so, but each element, when rebuilt, reflected the colors of light and wine more succinctly. Truly, the Master has created the ultimate vessel.
One day, the Master smiled at me and handed me a Golden Chalice. It was a good thing, He said, and I had obtained His favor. I cried that day. I wanted the Golden Chalice, my heart longed for her…. But I had no idea how to care for a Golden Chalice. I wanted to drink of the wine, but had no idea how to refill the Vessel. And somehow, intuitively, I realized the Master cared intently how I treated this masterpiece of such great value.
He never really told me why He made it of such finely beaten gold, or why the beautiful crystal cover.The Chalice doesn’t come with a printed owners manual. The Master told me He wrote the owners manual deep inside me, and I could find it written there if I looked hard enough. It took years for me to grasp the delicateness of the Chalice, and I fear I have dropped and broken it more than once, to my shame. Today, not a day goes by that I do not realize the delicate, fragile, yet priceless nature of the Chalice given into my hands.
I feel anger rising in me when I see a Golden Chalice used to play in the mud or the sandbox. When servants believe they can use their Chalice to scoop the muck of daily work, then expect fine wine in the evening from the Chalice, the Master is not pleased. When servants drop the vessels, and grind on them with their heels, what exactly do we expect the Master to feel? The Golden Chalice was made to be treasured, protected and loved…. not only used. I can only conclude that either servants do not realize the value of the Chalice, or else they are intentionally trying to anger the Master, and either scenario is not good.
I suppose you realize I am writing about women. My heart is grieved with the way I see men today in so many places treating the precious vessel given to them. I weep for the shatteredness of the little girls that no one protected, no one treasured, no one loved. All they wanted was to feel like a princess, to be convinced they were a Golden Chalice, to be filled with the very best wine of confidence and beauty. When somehow a man feels it is his divine right to trample all this into the ground, and drive the women in his life like a rented mule, and use the Bible to justify it, I will freely admit to being more than a little annoyed. Do we not somehow see the disrespect this is to the Master Designer?
Yes, women can be a little difficult to understand. And no, God never intended for them to be in charge. But somewhere deep inside the man lies a roadmap to the woman’s heart. Somewhere down there lies a realization that this beautiful creature, the crowning of all of God’s creation, The Golden Chalice, represents the Bride of Christ. She is most precious and delicate to Him, and God’s intention was that the way we treat her be a picture of Christ and the Church.
Seize that inheritance. Kill the Goliath of anger . Fight through the issues of your own life and past, and begin to set free, with your words, the beauty in the woman (and daughters) in your life. Treasure and protect the Chalice, carry it very carefully. Wash it with your words, gently. Being invited to drink of the wine from a Golden Chalice is one of the most intimate and priceless things a man can ever experience. It must not be desecrated and cheapened. The Master is watching.
~ Stephen Stutzman ~
© Trudy Metzger
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