Parent to Parent
In this season we often spend extra time giving thanks for God’s many blessings. This year, my thoughts have returned again and again to my beloved grandmother. Although she was called to her heavenly home many years ago, her words and actions echo in my mind daily. Grandma, like Mary Poppins, seemed practically perfect in every way; hers is the face I envision when I read of the virtuous wife in Proverbs 31. She liked to share an old parable, giving the moral a twist using her own brand of wisdom and humor. I pray that it touches your hearts as it does mine.
The Parable of the Cracked Pot
A Water Bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and one half pots of water in his master's house.
The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the Water Bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?" "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.
The Water Bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologize to the bearer for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."
Grandma’s moral to the story
Each of us has our own unique flaws: We’re all a bunch of cracked pots. But rather than grumble and moan, we need to thank God for the ways He will use our flaws for His good when we surrender to Him. Instead of getting caught in the comparison trap and finding yourself (or your spouse, or children) lacking, celebrate the ways your rough edges shine in the Master’s hands. Be bold, let others see your flaws and speak openly about how it is in our weakness we find God’s strength. It has been said that it is only through our cracks and broken places that others can see our light within.
This year, I am especially glad for all of the wonderful crackpots in my life. My family (Rich, Garrett, Troy, Logan, mom, dad, Tara, Jacob and Anastasia), friends, our Children’s and Youth Ministries staff, my Super Flawed life group sisters, the preteens I get to minister to each week, and the families of St. John’s, thank you for making my life a beautiful mosaic and sharing your broken pieces with me. God’s blessing to you all.
Director of Children's Ministries