The Cracked Jar

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up. . .
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. . . You have
turned my mourning into dancing. . .”
Psalm 30

I was blessed to hear a beautiful, healing, story
recently.  A woman carried water daily from a nearby stream, to her home,
in two jars that hung on the ends of a pole across her neck.  One of the
jars was perfect, the other had a crack in it, allowing water to leak out as
the woman walked to her home.  In fact it leaked so badly that by the time
she got home, half the water was gone.  Toward the end of the woman’s
life, the cracked jar asked the woman why she had kept it for all those years, –
why hadn’t she just thrown the jar away, and gotten a new, perfect one?
The woman replied, “Have you not seen the beautiful flowers that grow along the
side of the path over which I carry you?  There are no flowers on the
other side”  She continued, “Many years ago, I realized you had a crack
and that water was leaking out, so I spread seeds from my favorite flowers
along that side of the path.  The water that spilled from the crack in
you, has watered the seeds and I get to watch those seeds grow, and those flowers
grace our home every day.”

Sometimes it seems that we allow our human frailties and
limitations to hold us back from meeting the needs of our residents.  That
can be very frustrating and overwhelming.  But just as the woman knew that
jar’s imperfection, God knows our imperfections and limitations, and can make
beautiful things come from them.  Healing happens because of that gracious
love. Let us pray knowing that God will cause love to grow where God’s grace
spills over our imperfections, turning any of our mourning into dancing.

Creating and Grace-giving God, remind us to hand
over to you those things that look like only cracks and imperfections in
us.  We pray, humbly, that we will be willing to allow your grace to water
the seeds and create beautiful things to grow when we are limited in our
humanness.  May we see your creating and loving hand at work in the world,
continuing to create the world you intend.  Amen and amen.

Chaplain Janna Preston,
Pigeon Forge Care and Rehab

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