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My Prophet Hat: An Old Pot No One Wants

This series of articles is taken from one book of prophecy named Hosea after its author.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, except when one man’s trash is everyone else’s trash. Even in emerging countries where children will pick through the garbage dumps, they leave more behind than they bring home. Some things are just trash. Other things have value if you can see it. Repurposing is a big thing these days. It is like recycling. When something has outlived its original and primary purpose, it can be made to serve another purpose. But what happens when absolutely no one wants what you have? Let’s get some context here.

“The people of Israel have been swallowed up; they lie among the nations like an old pot that no one wants.” (Hosea 8:8) Gomer, Hosea’s prostitute wife, is an old pot that no one wants. Go back and read Hosea 3. Gomer was a washed-up girl of the night. She was no longer marketable. She was used and used up. Men found newer, younger, and more appealing pots. She was reduced to being sold as a slave. She was on the auction block. “What will you give me for this old pot?” No one wanted an old pot. God told Hosea to go buy her back. This is redemption. God saw value in Israel when all the nations simply saw an old pot.

Society is filled with old pots that no one wants. We have addicts, prostitutes, homeless, abandoned children, derelict parents, mentally ill, poverty stricken, marginalized, lonely, bullied, unattractive people who feel like old pots. However, we love garage sales. We love flea markets. We love to drive around on trash day. We know that there are treasures out there if we just take time to see them. The nations did not see what God saw in Israel. They were His people. He loved them. He believed in them. No one sees my kids and grandkids like I do. I see promise and potential. I see what they can be. I see hope. I see purpose. They may look like an old pot to you, but they look like gold to me. Don’t tell me they are useless.

One of my favorite plays is Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miquel de Cervantes, 1547-1616. In the First Part, Chapter 13 Don Quixote is made to say, “…I say it is impossible that there could be a knight-errant, without a lady, because to such it is as natural and proper to be in love as to the heavens to have stars….” He then invents the object of his love and calls her Dulcinea of El Toboso, whom he describes as a princess or queen and in some detail. Quixote fixes his affections on Aldonza, a common wench. It is because of his exalted vision of her that she begins to change and become what he envisioned. It is something of a My Fair Lady story. The most heart-warming stories are those in which someone sees greatness in another and works to bring it out. When a father believes in his son, wonderful things happen. It is the story of Jesus who sees greatness in His disciples, not the kind they perceived or desired, but genuine greatness. Perhaps we should stop and see people. See what they can become. Jesus gave us the right to BECOME. (John 1:12) Jesus takes old, discarded pots and turns them into vessels of honor. Though we are earthen vessels so that His glory can be displayed, His glory transforms those clay jars and gives them glory. The flowers in the old pot make the pot look good. The Spirit of God in us make us look good.

Take time to read this poem, The Touch of the Master’s Hand about an old violin.

As you go about your day, take time to really look at people around you. What do you see? An old pot or Dulcinea? (BTW, Dulcinea means sweet.)

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