We decided to make an adventure of our trip to the Cursillo Region 6 Fall meeting by inviting some dear friends of ours, Joe and Therese Frederick, to join us. The four of us set out on a fall morning and stopped at St. John’s University to view the Saint John’s Bible. The display of this illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size is something to see. Reading the displays, we learned the history of The Saint John’s Bible and read about the calligraphers and illustrators who created this Bible. To say that the calligraphy and illustrations are beautiful, greatly understates this work of art.
After lunch, we had a private tour of The Saint John’s Pottery, a pottery studio located on the campus of St. John’s University. During the tour, we learned that the kiln is fired up once every two years. That means pottery sits on a shelf for several months until the kiln is fired up. Imagine yourself as the potter, creating something by hand and having to wait for a long period of time to see the end result.
The 87 foot long firebrick kiln at The Saint John’s Pottery consists of three chambers. The location of the pottery in the various chambers produces different finishes and colors on the pottery. How the pottery pieces are arranged on the shelves within the kiln also affects the outcome. It takes 7 weeks to load the kiln with the hundreds of pieces of pottery to be fired. Great care is taken in arranging the pottery within the kiln. The pottery undergoes firing for 10 days. During the 14 day cooling period, the doors of the kiln remain closed: NO PEEKING! If cool air enters the kiln by way of a door being opened prematurely, pottery within the kiln may crack. Finally it takes about one week to unload the kiln.
Reflecting on this process, we were struck by the life lessons in the cycle of creating pottery. Patience is needed to see the final outcome of the pottery created. Trust is another lesson, as many people are involved in the loading, firing and unloading of the kiln. Letting go of control is also needed, as you don’t know what the color of your pottery will be after it has been fired. Dependence upon others is another lesson as many people are required for the various steps.
These life lessons apply to our evangelization efforts as we reach out to make a friend, be a friend and bring a friend to Christ. Building a friendship develops over time (patience.) We may not know the outcome of our evangelization efforts (trust.) The outcome of the invitation to your friend to have a relationship with Christ is out of your control (letting go.) Others brought your friend to the point where they would be receptive to your invitation, and perhaps others will finish the conversion (dependence on others.) Holy Spirit, help us to persevere in our efforts to build the Kingdom of God.
Yours in Christ,
Tom & Diane Repucci