I had what we technically call in the business, a "crappy week."
And, just as I was at the apex of a very special Patty Pity Party, I got an e-mail that gave me cause to put the party horn down.
I can always count on my old pal Charleen Scott, a Trumbull County native, to pull me out of the doldrums.
I want to share with you, a little story that she sent my way. Here's an excerpt:
"There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. They both liked antiques, especially teacups. Spotting an exceptional cup, they said to the proprietor, 'May we see that? We've never seen a cup quite so beautiful.'
"As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke, 'You don't understand. I have not always been a teacup; there was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me, pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, 'I don't like it! Leave me alone,' but he only smiled, and gently said, 'Not yet!'
"'Then WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and went around and around and around. 'Stop it! I'm getting so dizzy! I'm going to be sick!' I screamed. But the master only nodded and said quietly, 'Not yet.'
"'He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape and then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. 'Help! Get me out of here!' 'Not yet,' he said.
"'When I thought I couldn't bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool.
"'Then suddenly he put me back in to the oven. This one was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate - but I didn't. As he took me out, I thought, 'What's he going to do to me next?'
"An hour later he handed me a mirror and said, 'Look.' And I did. I said, 'That's not me; that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful!'
"'Quietly he spoke: 'I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded, but had I just left you alone, you'd have dried up. I know it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I hadn't put you in that second oven, you wouldn't have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.'"
"The moral of this story is this:
"God knows what He's doing for each of us. He is the potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing and perfect will.
"So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems to 'stink' (a.k.a. "is crappy"), try this: Brew a cup of your favorite tea (or coffee!) in your prettiest cup, sit down, and then have a little talk with the Potter."
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist. Contact her at pkimerer@