A water bearer in India had two large pots: each pot hung on one end of a pole which the man carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect. The perfect pot always arrived full at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house; while, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
This daily trek continued for two full years. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, fulfilling the task it was created for. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its flaws, miserable that it fell short of perfection. One day the flawed pot spoke to the water bearer of its sadness. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?” asked the bearer.
I have only been able, for the past two years to carry half my load because the 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 this work, and you don’t get the full value for 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 masters’ 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 wildflowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt the pang of sadness, because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
Then the bearer asked, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but none on the other pots’ side?” The pot nodded.
“That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on our side of the path, and every day while we walked 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. If you were not created this way, my master would not have had this beauty grace his house.”
Aren’t we a bunch of cracked pots? I didn’t say crack pots, I said cracked pots! Each of us have our own unique flaws. Sometimes we walk around with a self-defeating frame of mind. We tell ourselves that we are worthless because of our pasts. Life sometimes seems meaningless because it hasn’t turned out the way we dreamt it would. Life sometimes takes us down a different path.
I love this story about the cracked pot because it makes me think of God as the water bearer. He knows our flaws and loves us anyway. He can take our flaws and make something beautiful out of them. He knows the potential in us. How can we help others when they are hurting, if we have not experienced hurt ourselves? Our hurts, pains and struggles can, if we allow them to, make us stronger and able to help others who might be going through something similar.
” Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand”. Isaiah 64: 8(NIV)