The Wedging of Words

There is a process in ceramics called ‘wedging’. “Wedging is used to prepare clay for working. In the wedging process, clay is repeatedly kneaded on a porous surface to draw some of the water out while distributing the moisture evenly, eliminating hard spots in the clay. In the process, air bubbles are forced out of the clay, ensuring that these bubbles will not heat and cause the clay to explode in the kiln. Properly wedged clay is very smooth, with an even texture which is easy and pleasant to work with”. *

BW potters hand

Wedging is the shaping of clay. And without this process the clay will explode in the fire. It’s a pushing and prodding, a whole lot of pressure and stretching. But it is this process that evenly disperses the water and removes any air bubbles, the kind of bubbles that explode.

There’s this mixing of words in my soul. The ones I’ve thought and spoken myself and the ones that have been spoken to me and over me. In that mix there are good, kind, love-filled words; the kind of words that move mountains and calm raging seas. But there are also horrible, terrible, no-good words; the kind that start wars and sever relationships.

And all of these words have shaped me. Every. Single. One.

As I spin along on the potters wheel, it’s words that shape me, shape us. They influence our securities, our mindsets and our opinions. They affect our doubts, our fears, our dreams. Words shape and define our very identity.

Which words are doing the wedging, and which ones are the hidden air bubbles?

The Bible is clear about the power of words spoken (Prov. 18:21). And is clear that we are to guard our mouths (Ps. 141:3). Words can defame your faith (James 1:26) or laced with love your eloquent speech can move a nation (1 Cor.13:1). But it’s the words Job endured that has me pensive lately.

His friends loved him, they sat in the ashes with him and wept. (Job 2:12-13). To sit in someone’s utter devastation and weep with them takes incredible love. And it’s no doubt they loved the Lord – I mean they preached some serious sermons, chalk full of Biblical truths. But these men spoke from their knowledge, not their own loved-on-hearts. The break down was in the segregation. They loved Job and they loved God, but they forgot that God also loved Job.

So the enemy meant these words spoken to become air bubbles… pockets of hidden pain that would ultimately cause Job to self destruct in the heat.

But God also spoke.

And you can hear those words of truth in Job’s responses. He reiterated the faithfulness of God, he remembered the experiences of God’s presence. Job held on to the words already spoken, and waited for new ones to come. This was painful, it was a pressing and a crushing. This process with his friends was grueling. It was a wedging. God deepened Job’s faith. God called out Job’s conviction and strengthened his resolve.

God shaped Job in the midst of this storm.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. …Through Him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5


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One Comment on “The Wedging of Words

  1. I’ve heard a similar story from a speaker who took lessons, to find out for herself the true meaning of the word Potter. It’s amazing that we are being wedged too.


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