The Tale of the Cracked Pot

by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey

I read a story by Brennan Manning that has been on my mind, so I thought I would share. It is the tale of a water-bearer and his two pots. Every day the water-bearer would walk to the river, fill his two pots, and carry them back to his Master’s house. One of the pots had a crack in it, so by the time he finished his trip, it would only be half full. The pot without the crack worked flawlessly, and never lost a drop. After a while, the cracked pot began to feel ashamed.

One day the cracked pot spoke to the water-bearer. It said, “I am deeply ashamed, and want to ask your forgiveness .” The water-bearer asked, “What are you ashamed of and why should I forgive you?” The pot replied, “Each day you carry both of us to the river and fill us, and each day my flaw causes me to leak. You work so hard, and I can’t even hold the water you put into me.” The water-bearer told the cracked pot that he wanted it to look along the path the following day and tell him what it saw.

Upon their return the next day the cracked pot reported what it observed. “I saw nothing on the trip to the river, but on the trip back I saw beautiful flowers on my side of the path leading to the house.” The water bearer told him, “That’s right. I planted the seeds there. You see, I knew about your flaw, and that’s why I picked you. All of this time I have been using you to water the flowers along the path. I pick them and put them on the Master’s table. In that way, you bring Him much pleasure.”

So one would think the moral of this story is that God loves crackpots and the Holy Spirit is using our flaws to leak Jesus out to the world. That’s true, but the real lesson is that the pot with the flaw could have saved itself a lot of pain had it not compared itself to another. It would have been confident and content. It could have performed it’s chosen role without the torment of insecurity.

Every day I have beautiful souls, people God is madly in love with, tell me how inept, unworthy, and unqualified they are. I ask them how they came to that conclusion. The answer is universal. They were watching themselves and others instead of looking to Jesus. As Lysa TerKeurst says, “How dangerous it is to hold up the intimate knowledge of our imperfections against the outside packaging of others.”

Here is the bottom line. We are all crackpots, or we would not have needed saving. Accept yourself. Jesus thinks your need for Him is beautiful, and He finds you irresistible. Give yourself to Him fully, flaws and all. You may discover that your crack is what He uses to leak His Kingdom into the lives of others.