Former longtime News Journal Publisher Pam Stricker wrote this story on local resident Ray Storer, who passed away Sunday.
Chester Ray Storer was a precious man went home to Jesus this week. He leaves behind his legacy of kindness, wisdom, talent, faith and love. We get to enjoy the harvest of a life that sowed so much of himself into the lives of others. But the absence of his physical presence breaks our heart. We rest assured in the confidence of reuniting with him some day.
Some hands just seem to have been more blessed with creative talent than others. Ray Storer’s hands were blessed. His hand-thrown pottery has earned him a reputation among many that consider him a master potter.
With a twinkle in his eye, Ray once said, “It’s amazing to see what the hands of man can accomplish when we team up with God.”
His journey as a potter began over 50 years ago. He was a student majoring in art at Wilmington College. He recalls they had a wheel, but no one knew how to operate it. But his intrigue for pottery continued and he began experimenting in his own basement.
Back then, Ray said his pottery was so crude and imperfect, that he would give it away. He would go to nursing homes and share the story of how the pots were made and then let them pick out their piece based on their age. The oldest would get to pick first and on down to the youngest.
“They didn’t seem to care that the quality was not there. They loved it! But the better my pottery would get the more they would tend to try to lie about their age so they could have first pick.”
Ray drew much inspiration from the scripture. One of his favorites was in Jeremiah 18 when God speaks to Jeremiah to “go down to the potter’s house and I am going to speak and instruct you.” Like Jeremiah, received his instruction often at the potter’s wheel.
He saw many life lessons from the way clay is fashioned into a thing of beauty. “We are all made of clay,” he once shared. “Like the clay, we need to be centered on the potter’s wheel. Centering the clay is the most difficult task the potter faces as he starts to make a vessel. To center the clay, the potter must take control of the clay. Like the clay, we must yield control to the eternal potter for us to experience a real relationship with the Lord.”
“The potter works with the clay until he gets right. He wants something good, something beautiful and perfect in the potter’s eyes.”
Like the pottery he so artfully created, so was his life fashioned. He allowed his master potter, Jesus Christ, to mold and make him into a vessel that became life-giving to many.
His life became God’s work of beauty.