LIFE IS FULL OF AMBIVALENCE & DISORDERS; CRACKS AND GAPS.
There is an interesting fable from India about a water bearer with two large pots. The two pots hung at both ends of the pole which he carried across his shoulder. One of the pots was perfectly made with no flaw and it never leaked.. But the other pot has several cracks caused by the accidental knocks and by the time the water bearer reached his master’s house, it had leaked much of its water. Thus the cracked pot could only carry a half-pot full of water when it reached its destination.
For a whole year, 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 ugly cracks that had inflicted a significant wound on its self-esteem.
This wounded self-esteem inevitably caused it to perform its task with only partial effectiveness, far below its intended capacity.
After a year of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, one day, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer with lots of shame and guilt.
“I am ashamed off myself, and I want to apologize to you for my poor performance. I have been able, for the whole year, of delivering only half my load due to some visible cracks in my side. This has caused the leakage of a great amount of water onto the ground and you are not able to get the full credit for your work.”
The water bearer felt sincere empathy 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 was mindful of the water bearer’s encouraging words and began to take notice of the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path. The sight of the beautiful flowers lifted the depressed moods of the cracked pot. But by the end of the trail, it began to feel bad again because it had leaked out half its load. Again the poor pot apologized to the bearer for its apparent failure.
In reply, 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. So I planted flower seeds on your side of the path and every day while we walk back from the stream, you actually water on the flower plants. For one whole year, 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.”
Food For Reflection
Everyone of us is a cracked pot. This is the essence of being human. This is our common human condition.
However there are basically two types of cracked pots.
The majority of the cracked pots are not even aware that they are cracked and they simply don’t accept the fact of their cracked condition.
A small minority of the cracked pots are aware of their flawed condition and they are honest with themselves in taking realistic steps to repair their adverse conditions.
Self honesty is the key to finding out which category that you belong.
It is important to recognize the fact that God made us cracked pots with his divine intention. By making us partially cracked, God wants to share his job with us. He wants to make us his co-creators. He wants all his cracked pots to finish the task of co-creation by spending their lifetimes repairing and mending their broken lives until they become perfect.
Those cracked pots with lots of egos and self-denial will go about mending their cracks with flimsy glues such as acquisition of wealth and possessions, power-grabbing, winning social approval and admiration, etc. All these tools, however, complicate their jobs and make recovery much more difficult.
On the other hand, those cracked pots who are mindful of their flaws and human conditions, will first look for the divine clues to unravel the unique meaning of their lives. Once they know the life meanings assigned to them, they can see everything in perspective- their flaws and their disorders balanced with their strengths and their virtues. Then they can go about using the right glues to mend their lives.
The task of mending one’s cracked pot takes a life time. It is an ongoing assignment that only ends in death. If you use the flimsy temporary glues, your cracks will closed up for a short while and later on, the cracks will become more serious and more difficult to repair.
The cracks in your life need love and lots of it.
The cracks can only be repaired with God’s unconditional love.
A wounded self-esteem with lots of shame and guilt cannot be repaired by material possessions and wealth or power to control others etc.
Cracks caused by shame and slanders are often very deep and nothing can fill these gashes except God’s love. And the divine love will only be given in abundance to those who are repentant, humble and patient. Hence humility is an important prerequisite to pray for God’s compassion and love.
So don’t worry too much about your cracked conditions. All of us are in the same boat. The real hope is that we have a heavenly Father who is infinitely kind and loving towards us. In your prayer for your inner healing, be humble, be patient, and be compassionate towards His other needy children.
It is only when the students are ready that the teacher will appear.
So when you are ready to learn to unlearn and relearn that God will send a special teacher into your life to help you to repair your cracked pot.
Submitted by Alphonsus YKK
Take a few moments and ponder on this poem about gaps and cracks in our world-
The gaps are the thing.
The gaps are the spirit’s one home, the altitudes and latitudes so dazzlingly spare
& clean that the spirit can discover itself like a once-blinded man unbound.
The gaps are the clefts in the rock where you cower to see the back parts of God;
they are the fissures between mountains and cells the wind lances through,
the icy narrowing fiords splitting the cliffs of mystery.
Go up into the gaps. If you can find them; they shift and vanish too.
Stalk the gaps. Squeak into a gap in the soil, turn, and unlock- more than a maple-
(Poem by Annie Dillard)