Word Processor

Maybe I’m a slow learner. I never thought that. I did okay in school. We moved too much in my high school years to find out my real strengths but I’m no dummy.

When it comes to learning about me…..others seem better. Maybe I don’t pay enough attention to myself or my perception is entirely different. Or  some of both.

Brian and I would have these long phone conversations. I’d stretch the cord on our wall phone as I’d wipe down the kitchen counters while we talked. Our conversations centered around church and serving and Jesus and these talks with him helped me flesh out what I believed. It help me go beyond the childhood beliefs and put feet to the words.


He was a new man in the Center. It was less than a week since he’d checked in to our Adult Rehabilitation Center, his first Sunday in our chapel service. Everyone had left after the service and JJ came back to introduce himself to me. He put out his hand and as I took hold of his there was nothing but flesh. No grip, just fingers held out but nothing given in return. He wanted to know if I’d take his picture so he could send it to his family. Said they’d never seen him dressed up like this.

I pulled my iPhone out and positioned him against the wall so as not to get shadows. I was going for a just below the shoulders shot so they could see his face but he motioned me back. More….more….he wanted the full view for them. From head to shiny dress shoes.

Version 2



This is why I write. Men who’ve never been taught how to give a good handshake, who’ve never been “dressed like this”. Men whose lives have brought them to through our doors, their “last chance”. Men who are so different are teaching me how more alike we are.  It’s these men and this ministry that has stirred something inside of me and brought me to pecking out the words while I search for more understanding.

I envision it as a lump of clay on the potter’s wheel. My thoughts are plunked down in a big lump. Wet, pliable but not weak or thin. There has to be strength to withstand the shaping.

Each word is taken by the potters hands and smoothed. There are times when one design is expected but, surprise!, another emerges under his skilled hands. A more suitable vessel, more fitting for service.

That is my hope, my prayer. That this word processor is not just for me but that others can connect and find their clay shaped to a form fit for service.


Riverside Pottery, Dillsboro

It’s an old hymn and I think the only reason it stays with me is its use of the imagery of pottery.

Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way

Thou are the potter I am the clay

Mold me and make me, after Thy will

While I am waiting, yielded and still.

These words I offer to be molded into truths by the Truth.

Participating in a book discussion, link-up over at Kate Motaung‘s place working our way through the book, On Being a Writer.
















26 thoughts on “Word Processor

  1. Mama's Empty Nest says:

    Well, you know what I think but I will say it once again. You write words to inspire, enlighten, encourage, and ponder, so I’d say you are an excellent word processor. And yes, the words to that old hymn still ring true today. May we all be clay in the Potter’s hand.

  2. joseph elon lillie says:

    Beautifully said. On the Potter’s Wheel we can’t exactly see what is being made of our lives. But the promise is secure that when we are “finished” the results will be deemed good by everyone! May your words resonate and ripple to their God-intended targets!

    • Debby says:

      Thanks Gabriele. There’s always been something about the potter and pottery that has carried much meaning for me. Glad it sparked images for you too.

  3. Karen Brown says:

    Oh, I love this, Deb. Your words are so well-crafted and reflect a heart’s desire to glorify God. Thank you for bering His image here- with your word processor and with your life. I love, LOVE this line: “That this word processor is not just for me but that others can connect and find their clay shaped to a form fit for service.” Thanks for sharing~

    • Debby says:

      Thank you Karen for your sweet words of affirmation and encouragement. Glad you’re part of this community exploring the writing part of ourselves together.

  4. carlybenson says:

    I enjoyed hearing about the men you work with- and I love the idea of the potter’s wheel and God shaping our words into something he can use. I’m sure he is using your words, and your ministry, to impact many others for him.

  5. Christy says:

    Did you see my post yesterday?? I’m amazed at how common threads weave through all of our thoughts. Potter/clay. I got to throw a couple of weeks ago for the first time! FUN! Fun!

    • Debby says:

      I thought I’d read your post Christy but the pottery didn’t sound familiar so I went back and discovered I hadn’t. I’ve told myself some year I’ll do a pottery class. Could never do more than that because as you said, the wheels aren’t exactly cheap! Good for you. How fun! You’ve encouraged me to not give up on trying it one day.

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