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 a half pots full of water in
his master's house. Of course, 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
"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 apologized to the bearer for its
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."
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. But if we
will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father's table.
In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste.
So as we seek ways to minister together, and as God calls you to the tasks
He has appointed for you, don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them,
and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of
beauty in His pathway.
Go out boldly, knowing that in our weakness we find His strength, and that
"In Him every one of God's promises is a Yes."
(Either by Stephanie Allen or sent in by her)
"For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the
flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God has chosen the
foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the
weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and
the base things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are
not, to bring to nothing the things that are." 1 Cor. 1:26-28
"I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions,
in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2
"For though He was crucified in weakness, yet He lives by the power of God.
For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God
toward you." 2 Cor. 13:4
To the Semitic mindset, a waterjug was like one's soul. For a woman to break
her water vessel would bring her great shame. It would be as if she broke
her own soul. She guarded her water vessel as if it were her very life. That
is why the fact that the Samaritan woman on the Book of John who left her
water jug at the well was so significant. It was a completely un-Semitic
thing to do. It was like leaving her soul behind. It just wasn't
If a water girl broke her vessel, all the pieces would be kept and used for
some other purpose--Job used some pieces to scrape his sores, for example.
Only the smallest pieces would be discarded and buried in the ground. The
rest would find a use not as honorable as being a water vessel, but still
useful. Some pieces might become a ladle and some might become a brazier, a
pan to hold hot coals. This waterjug would become a "vessel of dishonor,"
that is, it would no longer serve the purpose for which it was originally
made, but still useful.
A large piece might become a fire pan (brazier)which might be placed on some
young boy's head early in the morning. His mother would "pour hot coals on
his head." Then the boy would go from house to house, giving a piece of hot
coal to each of his neighbors which they would use to start the fire for the
day. It was much more difficult in those days to start a fire than it is
today. It is this picture one should see when reading Romans 12:20:
"If your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him a drink. For in
so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head."
We, Westerners, usually picture vengeance when we think of pouring hot coals
on someone's heads. The Semites pictured something completely different.
They saw a "vessel of dishonor" being used to bring warmth AND the means to
prepare daily food for their families. And the chore of bringing this fire
to the other villagers was a pleasant chore. The warmth of the coals on the
boy's head brought warmth to his whole body even as he brought warmth to the
whole community, another body made up of many members. We, Westerners, must
break some of OUR traditions, if we are to ever come to a deep understanding
of the God of the Bible. It is FULL of beautiful pictures like this one. GA
The above information is a small piece from a series of articles I plan to
shortly send to our regular subscribers of our publications through the
regular postal mail system. The Series is entitled "The Burning Love of God
and the Raging Wrath of Man." It will deal with many misconceptions that we,
Christians have about God and man's ways. Love and Vengeance are the primary
subjects. We will cover many fields in this series of
articles--hermeneutics, archaeology, chemistry, physics, etymology,
theology, biology and much more. We will look at fire from many different
angles. It will be like looking into the "fire" of a many faceted diamond. I
don't know how long the series will run. If any on this inspirational email
list would like to receive this series through the mails, send your name,
postal address, and email address to the postal address below. DO NOT SEND
IT VIA EMAIL. Email has NOT been an effective way for us to update our
database. Send your request to receive this series by postal mail. Let some
of your friends know about his series. I don't think they will be
disappointed in receiving it.
-- Gary Amirault