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I came across this story my father gave me while digging through my computer files recently. I wish I could say I wrote this beautiful piece. It was written by Larry Kennedy in his book entitled, God’s Answers to Human Dilemmas Amid Life’s Frustrations

The Tea Cup

The tea cup looked like an ordinary tea cup until it spoke.

You do not understand. I have not always been a tea cup. There was a time when I was nothing but red clay. My master took me, rolled me, and patted me over and over and over. I yelled, "Leave me alone!"

But he only smiled and said, "Not yet."

Then I was placed on a spinning wheel and spun around and around. I screamed, "Stop it! I am getting dizzy."

The master nodded and said, "Not yet."

Then he put me in an oven, and it was terribly hot. I thought he would burn me to a crisp. I yelled and knocked on the door.

I could see his lips moving as he said, "Not yet."

Finally, the door was opened and I began to cool. Then suddenly he painted me all over, and the fumes were horrible.

I cried, "Stop it! Stop it!"

He only nodded, "Not yet."

All at once he put me back in the oven, and it was twice as hot. I begged, pleaded, screamed, and cried.

But he only said, "Not yet."

Then at the last minute, just when I knew I would never make it, he opened the oven and placed me on a shelf.

An hour later he handed me a mirror and said, "Look at yourself."

I was beautiful, really beautiful.

As I gazed at my beauty, my master said, "I know it hurt to be rolled and patted, but if I had left, you would have dried up."

"I know it hurt to be spun around and around, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled."

"I know it hurt in the oven, but if I had stopped you would have cracked."

"I know the fumes were bad when I painted you, but if I had stopped you never would have hardened."

"But now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you!"


I need not ask if you've felt like this tea cup at times in your life. Haven't we all in various ways?

If you're like me, when I feel pain, my first inclination is to flee it. I often can't imagine any good will come of it.

I've felt the burning, the patting, and the spinning and there is sure to be much more.

I am not where this tea cup is but I hope to be one day. I still but clay.

This tea cup saw it's beauty when God handed him a mirror.

Perhaps, we won't get our mirrors this side of Heaven. Here, maybe there's just more spinning. More patting. More painting.

Perhaps though, we'll get glimpses along the way. And if we do, when the flames get hotter, may we see our hearts growing stronger, deeper and nearer the very heart of Christ.

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