by Ken Rolheiser
Thank God we are all a little cracked

“Imperfection inspires invention, imagination, creativity. It stimulates. The more I feel imperfect, the more I feel alive.” Jhumpa Lahiri

A water bearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect. And always, at the end of the long walk from the stream to the mistress's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

This went on daily, for two years with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water. The perfect pot was proud, but the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection, and miserable that it could accomplish only half of its job.

After two years the cracked pot said to the water bearer: "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 mistress'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 her compassion she said, "As we return to the mistress'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 failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? 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 mistress's table. Without you being just the way you are, she would not have this beauty to grace her house." (Internet source)

Wow! Do I dare explain further? What a lesson to inspire us. Did you notice that the water bearer had compassion? The water bearer uses the flawed pot to create priceless beauty. Creation is just that; to produce something where there was nothing.

God works with us and with our flaws. Like the water bearer, God is not fixated on our flaws but notices what we do accomplish. Sometimes we work harder because of our imperfections, and the Master uses our efforts to create wonderful things which we sometimes do not even notice.
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