You are the potter, we are the clay - Yue Mei-Yuk
MDiv 2001, Part-time Pastor of Fu Shan Peace Evangelical Center
Volunteer Pastor of Western District Peace Evangelical Center
Interviewed and written by Chan Hing-Ling (Alumni Relations)
Yue Mei-Yuk, just as her name suggests, a piece of precious stone with jade inside, requires substantial carving and cutting before it can become valuable. The life of a pastor is much the same as a piece of precious stone. If we do not go through the Lord’s moulding, we will not become a tool suitable for the Lord’s use.
The Lord’s Choice of Clay
When Mei-Yuk served at church in the early years, she learned pottery to reduce stress. When she rubbed the clay in her hands, it could become a man, bending forward with a large document cabinet on his back. She was shocked to see that this person was herself, and the cabinet contained her own records. It would appear that she had transformed the struggles and screams accumulated in her growing up journey and her years of ministry into the many pieces of ceramic items. Clay and fire are the main ingredients used for the refining and moulding process in pottery. Mei-Yuk’s life has undergone a similar moulding process in the Lord’s hands from growth to work to serving in church.
Mei-Yuk grew up in a big family and has been used to many injustices at home. She started asking herself the meaning of life when she was in middle school. This did not appear to be a casual question a little child would be asking, but revealed the internal struggle and helplessness of this little girl. After graduating from university, she became a teacher with the belief that teaching could have an impact on lives. Seven years later, she answered God’s calling and received theological training at CGST. During her study in CGST, the deep influence from her family upbringing became evident. She started to embark on a journey of seeking how the Lord has been moulding her life. That also inspired her to start equipping disciples from the orientation of one’s personal growth and development.
Mei-Yuk obtained her MDiv degree in 2001 and began her ministry in church. In real life, politics and attacks are inevitable whenever there are people, as we tend to love as well as hurt each other at the same time. Facing politics, Mei-Yuk felt hurt, being misunderstood and unjustly treated, and began to doubt her calling to serve in church. This piece of clay did not realise that it was in the hands of the potter at that time and had no idea what type of tool it would become in due course. It could only feel the destruction and rebuilding work of the potter, and know that its life would be trimmed neatly and nicely for it to humbly submit to the will of the potter to become any earthenware that the potter might want to use it for.
The Trial of Fire
Mei-Yuk left the church she had served for six years with a heavy heart, feeling physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted. She knew she had to rest so that her overworked body could recover. She felt exhausted all the time but could not find the root of the problem. Finally, she realised that her exhaustion was caused by a rage which she had suppressed for a long time due to an unforgiving spirit. With this spiritual trauma, she could only return to the Lord’s arms. Like Job, she kept asking the Lord questions. As she wrestled with the Lord, she poured out to the Lord all that she had experienced in her ministry and her troubled spirit. The Lord answered her with Isaiah 40:27-31, “Do not ask why!” When a piece of clay is in the hands of the potter, it can only wait silently for the Lord’s work.
While Mei-Yuk was waiting, the potter gave her a lesson on forgiveness: When she returned from the market one day, she heard the Lord telling her that if she had known how those people who had hurt her had been growing up, she would have hugged them. The knot in her heart was immediately untied. When the Lord looks at a person, He looks not just on his good and bad behaviour, but also on the whole person including his growing up process and his history. The Lord does not see a person as good or bad, but as a lost sinner who desperately needs the Lord’s gentle heart to grant him mercy. This revelation from the Lord helps her to add a portion of mercy and acceptance to the forgiveness that she gives to others.
Rest allows Mei-Yuk to face the weakness and darkness in her life, and of that, the most difficult part is the loss of self-confidence and becoming self-deceptive, with frustration filling all over her heart. Yet, the freezing point of a person is also the ice-breaking point when he meets the Lord. During the time of pottery making, Mei-Yuk reflected on her understanding of the Lord and her own value. She began to truly understand that she was only a person created by the Lord’s hands, so it would only be through the Lord’s grace that she could become strong again. She also reassessed her serving attitude and saw her misconception and foolishness. Confession and repentance enable her to reconstruct an appropriate attitude towards ministry and her self-worth.
Waiting for the pottery to air-dry before painting is a time for rest. It is also a preparation time for the furnace. It is only through the trial of fire that the piece of clay can turn into a fine piece of ceramic. During her restful wait, she experienced weakness and then regained strength. It is all the refining work of the Lord.
Mei-Yuk regained her ardour in ministry and deeply felt how the Lord has treasured each individual life as special and honourable, just like her own. She then realised that she should see each person as he or she really is, and she is willing to patiently nurture each life that she comes across. Today, Mei-Yuk is back in her mother church taking up the ministry of cell groups and Bible teaching. She attentively listens to the stories of each brother and sister and is amazed with the Lord’s work in each of them. She said that one can never be impatient with the growth process. All that we can do is to water and plant. The Lord will make each life grows. When a person experiences the Lord, his life will be renewed and transformed.
Each piece of clay is special and beautiful in the potter’s hands. After more than ten years of refining, from studying theology to ministry, from rest to church ministry again, Mei-Yuk realises that she is not the same now. She feels free from the need to compare herself with others. The Lord uses the ups and downs in her growth journey to let others see the amazing grace and work of the Lord in her life. Shepherding is to let others see the treasure in this jar of clay, and to know that “He is Lord and we are merely unworthy servants. May the Lord’s will be done.”