By Fr. John Hanley
The Cracked Pot
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends 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 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 to his house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for the task for which it was created, 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. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your 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 said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path. Do you notice that there are flowers only on your side of the path but not on the other pot's side? That is because I have always known about your flaw. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you have watered them. For two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."
Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots but, it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. It’s by dealing with our flaws and cracks in a positive way that we live as disciples of Jesus. In dealing with our flaws, we need to trust in God.
What are your flaws? How have you dealt with them/not dealt with them? Have the flaws in your life helped you to live as a disciple of Jesus?
Remember to appreciate all the “cracked pots” in your life! If it hadn't been for the crackpots in my life, it would have been pretty boring and life certainly wouldn't have been very interesting...
“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.”
Father John Hanley, OMI, is pastor of Saint William Parish