Will your grace run out
If I let you down
‘Cause all I know
Is how to run
‘Cause I am a sinner
If it’s not one thing it’s another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
You are the Savior
And you take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful
— All Sons & Daughters
These song lyrics are some of my most favored. They have rustled through my head on some of my worst days, offering a great deal of hope. Even though I feel I have come to terms with the fact I am broken and that we all are broken; there are times when I reminded again in all my striving that I am a broken vessel but even in all my brokenness I am still useful. I used to think, “How can I be used if I am broken?
Who wants help from someone broken?” I then was reminded that some of the most grace and understanding came from those who have been the most broken and have spent the rest of their lives seeking wholeness from the only one who can give it, God.
I came across two things I wanted to share with you that have helped me see the beauty in brokenness.
The story of The Cracked Pot:
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on an 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 masters 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 he said, "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 the Pot 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 your path, but not on the other pots 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 masters 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're all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father's table. In Gods great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don't be afraid of your flaws.”
Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t it wonderful to know that God is using you for such beautiful things and a purpose even in your brokenness?
The second thing I came across is what the Japanese do with cracked or broken objects. “They aggrandize the damaged or broken object by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.” (Billie Mobayed)
Isn’t that what God does for us? He fills the broken gaps that only make us more beautiful and bring Him the glory. It is no coincidence (I don’t believe in coincidence, I believe in Gods perfect and divine timing) that for the last two weeks this verse has been consistently replaying in my head while I struggle with feeling broken and a bit useless:
“But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)
I pray that you give God all your broken pieces even those in which you may be ashamed of. I pray that you allow Him to use your brokenness for His purposes and His glory and that in those cracks the gold shines as a beacon of hope for those around you that need it most. I pray that you are reminded that even the leakiest of pots can grow flowers to be put on the masters table for His delight and enjoyment. That you remember even broken things shine to. I pray all of this in Jesus most Holy and precious name, Amen.
image via Ty French Photography