Not long ago, at a church dinner and bazaar, my love for pottery drew me to a display of earthenware bowls. “Ah,” I thought, “I can both satisfy my longing for a new piece of pottery and support this church function.”  Someone beside me looked at the bowl I was holding and said, “You don’t want that; it looks like it’s broken.”  Indeed it did; a jagged line ran through one side of the bowl.  I bought it anyway.  The seemingly flawed feature is exactly what attracted me.

And now, on many mornings, during my sunrise prayer I sit in reflection, the bowl in my hand. I am aware that the bowl is not really broken.  The crack through the dish is smooth and finished and adds to the beauty.  Whether the artist purposely made the dish in this fashion or whether it was a flaw repaired and covered up doesn’t really matter.

This beautiful vessel is becoming a metaphor for my life—for our lives.  Yes, I am broken in some way and the people I live and work with are also broken.  It is easy for me to look at myself and others and focus on the crack in our spirits, the brokenness.  This is what my earthenware prayer has been teaching me.  I am flawed. You are flawed.  We are flawed.  It might be helpful for each of us to sit down and ask ourselves: how am I flawed?  In the same breath, though, we need to remind ourselves that we are not only flawed.  That’s not all I am!  That’s not all you are!   That’s not all we are!  We are blessed and if we choose, we can be a blessing even with the flaw.  There is a depth in each of us that we have not yet discovered.  Some stars are so far away their light has not yet reached the earth; the same is true of you. Some of your light has not yet reached your family, your friends, your world.  There are pieces of compassion, forgiveness, courage, hope and love in you that you have not fully discovered.


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Macrina Wiederkehr

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