The Cracked Pot

For my hurting friend and for all of us who are cracked pots:

A water bearer in China had two large pots. Each hung on the ends of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One pot 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 bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream… “I am ashamed of myself, because the crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”

The bearer said to the pot, “Have you noticed that there are flowers only on one 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 water 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.”


(From: The Gospel of Falling Down. The beauty of failure in an age of success. By Mark Townsend)


It was only when this cracked pot looked deep into the eyes of Jesus and saw His acceptance of me, flaws and all, that healing could begin. And you, dearest friend, were the catalyst.


About Gentle Breeze

Julia is married to Kevin. They live together in Todmorden with their black and white cat Willow. Todmorden is a small rural town nestling among the Pennine hills in the Upper Calder Valley, on the border of West Yorkshire and Lancashire. Julia is a mixture of contradictions. She happily shares her email address with her husband; yet when she married she kept her own surname.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Meditation, Reflections, Spirituality and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Cracked Pot

  1. Little Monk says:

    What a wondrous parable! Yes, He embraces us utterly, having known from the beginning of time, all our frailties, faults and flaws… and having accounted for them all! Thank you so much! — LM

  2. One of my favorites. Certainly helps put our “flaws” into proper perspective.

    • I am glad you know the story and that it is one of your favourites too. Some flaws can be changed, some we have to live with i have discovered. I have a specific learning disability related to dyspraxia. Because of it I have struggled throughout my working life. A couple of years ago I went for an assessment. How that happened is a story in itself. Finally I have reasonable adjustments at work. It has reduced my stress no end, even though, the contract for our service has just been terminated and I don’t know my future beyond the end of March. Life keeps on presenting challenges. Julia

  3. Wow, that is so beautiful! I can just imagine those wild flowers 🙂 It’s true, we often don’t know the impact we are having!

  4. jannatwrites says:

    I like the message in this. So many times we just see the negative in our failures and shortcomings. But God makes so much more use of that. We really should take more time to look at ourselves how God sees us.

    • I found this book, or perhaps i could say, God found me this book just when i needed it when i thought I had failed in many areas of my life. And it was a story i shared with my sister after she was sectioned and was admitted to hospital. She appreciated it too. It is a story that means a lot to me. I hope you are doing ok. Thanks for stopping by. I still hold you in my prayers. Julia

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