Not long into starting her new job, Daisy realized her need for clay and community and a quick search lead her on a journey across the city to a pottery studio named Desert Dragon. She found herself in that place multiple times a week despite the demands of her first year as a teacher and despite the long commute.
Working the clay, she remembered how bad she was at wheel-throwing and resolved to get better. She eaves dropped during classes and picked up a few pointers from the teachers. Each one had their own spiel. Each having learned from another teacher, having added their own flavor to the soup. She realized she had learned many things from Billy her ceramics professor in college but one thing very well: to love the craft and art of clay. She couldn’t get away from it.
The following spring, nearing the 14th of February, one of her colleagues asked her what her plans were for the holiday and when she said she’d be at Desert Dragon, he teased her. Only older ladies and weirdos hang around those places, he said, how are you supposed to meet anybody? She wasn’t planning on meeting anyone. Though she wasn’t opposed to the idea of finding love, she went to the studio to do what she loved.
Daisy and Asa hadn’t met because of inconvenience. She worked in the mornings and he worked in the evenings as a cook in a sports bar nearby. It was weeks until they finally crossed paths both throwing on the wheel. Asa didn’t notice her, but she did notice him. For some reason, she knew he would be someone important to her. She’d been praying for a king; it sounds weird and overbearing, but, in particular, she asked for a fair king. One who would do good and not evil. Not a Saul but an exception. She knew that if she were to marry someone she would have to be willing to respect his leadership. She was used to doing things her way, but marriage means learning to love like Jesus and that requires a special kind of surrender. I know what I am asking for, God, she prayed, So if it is your will for me to get married, please, let him be a fair king. Something similar to this were her words, though more heavy and aching with the loneliness that comes with forging her own path in a new city that lacked the familiarity and comfort of family.
When she asked him what his name was and he responded Asa, she asked him for its origin. Hebrew, he said, it means healer or restorer. Asa was a king in the bible, he continued. She didn’t want to read into what he just said, but when he added, he was one of the good one, she couldn’t help but hope and she said nothing.
I suppose it might have been nothing more than a hope if it hadn’t been for Asa’s carvings. For weeks and months, the short interaction was all the two had, but in the mornings while Daisy was teaching, Asa was busy carving everything he threw. It was a skill he had picked up in high school and he kept improving on it. Some carvings were abstract; some were floral. Some had words and some had hidden eyes. Daisy couldn’t believe her eyes when she came across them on the bisqueware shelf. These are beautiful, she told her friend Tracy, do you know who’s making them? Oh, that’s Asa, she said, he does that to all his pottery. Daisy found other pots on the greenware shelf, some with words from the bible and those caught her eye. What are the chances, she thought, that someone like minded would find this place, someone so talented would carve the very words that God had been impressing on her heart.
As her first year teaching was winding down, she found more opportunities to come quickly to the studio, just minutes before Asa left for work. She knew he would be there whenever she saw his bike on the gravel outside and swiftly got out of the car so she could briefly interact with him. Finally, as the school year closed, they had the opportunity to interact outside of the studio. Asa had organized a small get together at his house for memorial day. The party included an arrangement of various people, delicious corn on the cob and watermelon and Asa’s tiny and energetic Maltese. A couple times Asa had brought Kilo to Desert Dragon. The little white dog was small enough to fit inside of his backpack while he road and Kilo’s fluffy white head poked out of the pouch. Daisy spent much of the party petting the dog on the back patio where Asa eventually joined her. Eventually, the three of them left to go to the studio while some of the guests remained at the house.
Not long after memorial day, Daisy made a couple of pots for Asa to carve. She decided to drop them off at his house before heading back to her apartment. It was a beautiful evening in early June and they spent sometime sitting around the fire pit chatting with Kilo between them. They talked until the sky got dark and the moon rose high and full above them. At some point while petting the dog, their hands touch and fingers interlaced.
It’s strange thinking back to that night from the present. From our little condo with my husband carving in the spare bedroom and our little potter sleeping in the crib. Strange how sure we both were from the beginning. Asa, on that night under that full moon. Me, months prior when he told me his name. It’s hard to miss the hand of God in our lives in retrospect. Despite our short comings, our struggles to stay pure before marriage, our forgetfulness in the present. How can we ever deny the way He brought us both here? How our lives are shaped by the hands of the Potter?
God may our hearts chase you as much as we chase this clay. Much, much more still. May our souls find peace not just in the act of creating, but in the stillness, the rest we find in you. Jesus, you are the King. We are flowers. Flowers fade; your Word is forever.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Isaiah 40:8