In the Lectionary

September 4, Ordinary 23C (Jeremiah 18:1–11)

There is nothing markedly sacred about the potter’s house.

“Charisse, come here.” It was a common phrase in my household when I was growing up. I was prone to sequester myself in some nook where I could focus on my book or daydream my way into other worlds in peace.

“Yes, Mommy?” I would reply. It was part peace offering, part negotiation. I wanted to indicate that I heard her and knew I owed her my attention; I also hoped to have the conversation from my spot without having to peel myself away. But if she insisted, I would have to go to her to find out what she wanted.

Often it was, “I thought I asked you to wash the dishes.” (I still hate washing dishes.) But sometimes she just wanted to show me something she knew I would find exciting. There wasn’t a science to discerning the nature of the request. I just had to make the adjustment to go to her, to the place from which she called, to find out what she wanted me to see or hear.