We sit chatting quietly about art and bond over it being an outlet for our grief and hardships: his — surviving Japan’s triple disaster; mine — reporting on it and so many other crises around the world.
The retired schoolteacher points to a drawing he made after reading 1 Corinthians 13:13 for the first time. He doesn’t know why, but that verse encourages him and makes him feel like the cherry blossoms he drew — cherished and loved.
I start to tell him how much God cherishes him but he walks away. I plan to share my heart when he returns; instead he shares his. He hands me a lopsided sugar bowl with an ill-fitting lid. It looks like a pumpkin.
He explains that he loaded the kiln just minutes before the 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit. The tsunami waves crashed inland soon after, wiping out his house and workshop. Months later, he found the kiln among the rubble with this pot intact.
“This pot is like us,” he says, placing it in my hands. “It’s a survivor.”
Yes, I think. Just like the kiln protected the pot, God wants to hold both of us tightly in His arms.