PLANT CITY, Fla. - A pastor in Plant City has taken up the art of pottery, and in the meantime, molding his life. It's a hobby that takes some of the steadiest of palms, but as a man with Parkinson's, he has mastered it.
Bruce Wright has been retired for a couple of years now after stepping away from his job at the hospital. He remains active in his church as a pastor -- and in his free time picked up pottery.
"Isahiah writes that we are clay in God's hands, and he molds us into what he wants us to be," Bruce explained to FOX 13. "I always thought that was such a great analogy. (It's) always something I wanted to do. I always appreciated taking a lump of clay and putting it on a wheel and hopefully making something that looks good."
He said he would be the first to admit, without pottery, he'd be driving his wife, Elaine, crazy.
"I feel like at the end of the day, I have to feel like I accomplished something." Bruce said. "Maybe it's my personality...When I go to bed, and I don't have that feel of accomplishment, I'm bummed. So, this gives me something everyday that I can work at and put my hands to."
For Bruce, the lessons in pottery have spilled over into his life.
"When I'm hunched over that clay, centering it, it's really centering me," he described. "I put my hands and pressure on the clay to form it. That's what God does with us. I think if we avoid it, the pressure is never comfortable -- never something that's pleasant. Rather than avoid it, I believe that what I've tried to do with my Parkinson's is to embrace it."
Bruce has had to form his own technique, but seems to be doing well with it. He has been inspiring others with his website, Pottery with Parkinson's.
He said he just takes it a day at a time.
"As a pastor, I've always encouraged people to not let the circumstances that come into their lives dictate which direction their lives go," Bruce said. "Maybe I'm just stubborn, but I just did not want to this thing to dictate to me. We do the best that we can do, embrace the disease and adapt accordingly."
His wife, Elaine, agrees.
"He's pretty extraordinary to do this pottery," she said, "and to follow through with it."
For Bruce, he just lets "Jesus take the wheel."