Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Pitcher

I love pitchers.

I love their shape. I love their symbolism of pouring out. I love their uniqueness--how each one is so different and beautiful and purposeful.

When I see a pitcher, I am drawn to it. To me, it is a symbol of refreshment. It represents home, hospitality, and warmth.

I once served as a women's ministry leader and gave one hand-picked pitcher away each month to honor a woman in the group. I chose the woman based upon her selfless giving. I also chose women who I felt needed encouragement and to be honored.

A pitcher can't pour out what it doesn't have inside, and a pitcher doesn't quench thirst in and of itself, it carries the true refreshment. It is available to serve.

To me, the pitcher became a picture of these women who quietly served behind the scenes--vessels of honor, poured out by God. These women added beauty to everything around them and each one of them served with her own unique personality and talents in very different areas of need.

Within your group, you can encourage your special givers by looking for the ways they give behind the scenes. You can bring this to light by honoring them publicly or by just sending them a personal note. But everyone needs to be appreciated and seen.

A good leader serves. Recognizing your givers who "lead" behind the scenes is a way to serve them and lift them above yourself. It also shows that you are not a great leader by yourself--it takes everybody. And that was really my heart as I handed out those pitchers over the years--the group couldn't have been what it was without them.

Your friend,


Gabriella said...

Great Post!

A. Ensley said...

Growing up in one of the oldest colonial parts of the country, I was able to visit homes of that period. They are now popular tourist attractions. Those homes always had pitchers, like the one in your pic.

Although the homes were dated to an unfamiliar time, they had a warm and inviting quality. The pitchers symbolized a quiet place to refresh from the days work or to clean-up before meals.

Certain objects symbolize things down through history. Even when they're rarely used today, the sight of them portrays their importance.

lize said...

My mom recently gave me a pitcher rather small and quaint it has a simple fruit decoration on it. I think she said she paid a quarter for it! (garage sale find) BUT, to me it symbolizes love and caring. She has been so supportive of my new home. I appreciate her now more than ever. She takes time to buy me something with care and thought. I feel blessed to have her. The pitcher sits in my hutch as a reminder of her love. The other day I was dusting and turned it over to discover its stamped "Japan" but, I already new its worth. :)

Kristen and Denise said...

It is just wonderful to read your personal stories of the symbolism that a pitcher can have. You really touched my heart.

Thanks for sharing!