Flaws may serve noble purpose, not readily seen.

By: Rev. Dr. Roy Gaton

A water bearer in India had two large pots, one on each end of a pole he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack. While the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the very long walk from the stream to the grand house, the cracked pot always arrived only half full.

For two full years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only 1½ pots of water to his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was naturally proud of its accomplishments. perfecting the end for which it was made. The poor, cracked pot was ashamed, very ashamed, of its imperfection, and miserable daily that it could accomplish only half of what it thought it was made to do.

Finally, after two full years of suffering what it perceived to be a bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream: “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able for the past two years to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes the water to leak out all the way from the stream to the grand house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts.”

The water bearer felt sorry for his friend, the old cracked pot, and compassionately said, “As we return to the grand house from the stream today, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the long hill the old cracked pot took notice for the first time of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and felt a little better. But at the end of the trail it felt bad, because it had once again leaked half its load, so the old cracked pot again apologized for its failure. The water bearer replied: “Did you notice that there were beautiful flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always been aware of your flaw from the beginning, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walked back to the house from the stream, you’ve watered them. “For two full years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just exactly the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.

Each and every one of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. Yet, in God’s great economy, nothing goes to waste. God uses us just the way He made us. Just the way we are. He has a plan for you and for me, custom-made, God-given that nobody else can do. “For I know the plan for your life, a plan for good and not for evil. To give you hope and a future” Just trust Him! (Jeremiah 29:11).


The Rev. Dr. Roy Gaton is the director of Spiritual Life &

Pastoral Care at Castle Medical Center., Maui, Hawaii



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