By. Dr. Bev Rodgers
Taken from the book Soul Healing Love
When I walk into my home, on a table in the front foyer is a beautiful silver urn. It shines so brightly that those who enter often comment on it. The story of this urn is illustrative of my life. When I was a young girl, my sister and I would play for hours outside. One of our favorite things to do was to make mud pies. One sunny day we found a pot in our makeshift, dirty garage. It was a tarnished, brown ugly-looking pot, so we were sure it would be alright to play with it. We served ourselves creative handcrafted mud dishes in this pot, pretending that they were delicious delicacies and exotic cuisine. Pretending was always a great escape from the pain of our childhood. The problem with pretending was that I did not know when to stop. Even in adulthood, I often pretended that I did not feel the pain of my childhood.
One day while we were playing, my mother came out and scolded us for playing with this pot. “Don’t put mud and dirt in there!” she cried. “This is a valuable urn.” “What?” we shrieked incredulously! “How could this old pot be valuable? Look at it. Its brown and dingy and dirty.” Nevertheless, she grabbed the pot and took it inside. Several days later, we saw the pot on the window sill and grabbed it when my mom was not looking. What joy it was to restore it to its rightful purpose—serving mud pies for impish children. For several years, the struggle went on. We would get scolded for using the pot, and Mom would take it inside. We would sneak it outside and use it again, and so the cycle went. Eventually, we gave up our mud pie phase. After that, the ugly pot sat on the windowsill in the hot sun looking very unsightly. It stayed there for years and was ultimately tossed in the makeshift garage on to a junk pile.
The last time I saw the pot was the day that I left my home for good. My relationship with my mother suffered after I left. She forbade me to come home after I went to live with my father. Several years passed and she caved extended an invitation for me to visit. Those few visits were difficult because she was bitter, angry, and resentful. In due course, our relationship faded. I could not take the craziness, anger, and negativity, and she could not tolerate a daughter that wanted health. For my own sanity, I had to withdraw from her. Except for her outrage at my disrespect, she hardly noticed. During that time, I prayed, read scripture, completed Bible college and graduated, went to therapy, studied what healthy families were like, and eventually created one of my own; one without craziness; one with love and commitment.
Fifteen years later, I received a call from a relative. My mother had dropped dead of an aneurysm. I went to the house to clean up her meager belongings. As I was going through her paltry possessions, I came across the pot. I kept very few of her things: a photo, a teacup, a scarf, and that dirty old pot. I then said goodbye to the house that held so many painful memories for me. Back home, I unpacked the small box of things. I spied the pot. As I pulled it out, I could not help but think about what my mother had said so many years ago. Was this indeed a valuable urn?
Could anything so ugly be so valuable? My curiosity got the best of me and I drug out all of the cleaners and metal polishers that I could find. I scrubbed and scoured and rubbed in vain. Finally, I pulled out the big guns, the super silver polish. The pot was so damaged that I finally just immersed it in a vat of pure liquid silver polish.
What happened next took my breath away. To my amazement, the ugly old pot was transformed into a beautiful silver urn. The sparkle was so dazzling that it took my breath away. Tears filled my eyes and I began to weep. For a moment, I thought that I was losing it. I couldn’t figure out why I was moved to such emotion. Was it because I was beholding the last remnant of the family I once knew? Was it due to the fact that I was reliving my painful childhood? No, I think it was because I realized the similarities between me and that dingy, dark pot.
Growing up in a family where emotional, verbal and physical abuse were ever present, I spent most of my life feeling dingy, and dark inside. So much of that time I felt like I was not valuable. With hard cleansing work and many applications of healing agents like confession, prayer, and God’s unconditional soul healing love my soul began to sparkle. My soul and my life could have been the ugly brown pot, but the Lord has helped it has become a beautiful silver urn and for that I will forever be His grateful servant.