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The Cracked Pot

Posted on
Friday, July 14th, 2017

Life is a sacred journey. Recently I spent time with a young man terminally ill. His frank honesty and wisdom, grounded me to appreciate the gift of the present  moment. Who among us does not carry a sense of  burden? ……..The following wisdom speaks loudly!!!!

“A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole that he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, 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 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 apologise 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 bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers on your side of the path but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day while we walk back, you’ve 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.”

Fragility is a most wonderful human trait. We are all ‘broken’ and ‘cracked’ – there is no use in denying it. Let us be cautious of our glorifying tendencies. This “wow, look at me” culture needs to stop once and for all. No more celebrating the most talented man or woman in the room. When we were younger, we needed lots of positive feedback. Mother said: “You are a great boy at riding the bicycle,” and her son said: “Thanks mammy”. As we grew older, we let go of the need for building ourselves up. We became aware of the need for accepting our strengths and weaknesses. Let us now say to each other: “Wow, I am broken just like you”. And people can surprise us when they are brave enough to be raw and open. They can jump in and share their own powerful  fragility. This simple prayer is inspired by the “cracked pots”…… All of us!!

Dear God, 

I’m quirky I know. I don’t always do things in a traditional way. But I know what’s right.

I know how to stand my ground for what I believe to be true. Still, I need Your help dear God. You planted the seed. You nourish me. Shelter me now from the elements that stand in my way. Help me grow.




One Response to “The Cracked Pot”

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  1. July 17, 2017

    What a beautiful blog, Fr Paddy! We have featured your blog on
    http://www.NewPilgrimPath,ie, a website developed to share with fellow Christians of all denominations some of the rich spiritual resources we have found on the Internet.

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