“Every flower must grow through dirt”  ― Laurie Jean Sennott 

This is the quote I first saw on a billboard at an elementary school that I drive by every day.  It reminded me of the story of the Cracked Pot (Author Unknown).  If you’ve never heard the story, it is a little long, but I feel it is worth the read …

The Cracked Pot (Author Unknown) A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots was perfectly made and never leaked. The other pot had a crack in it and by the time the water bearer reached his master's house it had leaked much of it's water and was 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 master's house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. 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 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 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're all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, God will use our flaws to grace his table. In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.

I just love this story and I love the newfound quote.  Sometimes when we see things they just grab us and stay with us.  The dirt reminded me of the “stuff” and the “brokenness” that we all carry.  The cracked flower pot watering seeds reminded me of angels – both heaven and earth.  The angels in our lives help cultivate and water.  The water bearer saw something in the pot that he didn’t yet see in himself.  Sometimes we don’t see what’s right in front of us, it takes someone or something from the “outside” to help us realize just how important we really are.  It got me to thinking about how cracks are a two way street … beauty flowing in and out.  We are those beautiful flowers – we are that beautiful gift from God.

Dear God, Thank you for the weeds, the dirt and the beautiful flowers that emerge.  Please help us to remember that when we begin to heal our brokenness, that beautiful things flow into our lives.  We are grateful for the gifts you have given us.  Please help us to be kind not only to others, but also to ourselves, for we are beautiful flowers worth cultivating.  Amen.

April Schauer

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