The photocopy machine at the Mitra office is broken. It beeps sadly and give a long error message. We called up the service rep, Mr. S in Vizag, and he asked us to read out the message – at which point it decided to magically start printing again. Typical. Still, it’s stopped again now, so Mr.S is visiting us tomorrow.
Brokenness is also the theme of this years ‘healing ministry week’ – Brokenness to Healing. This week, people all over the country are meditating and praying for healthcare professionals and healers. Every evening, we have a chapel service where someone shares thoughts on Brokenness and Healing. It’s something that has been on my mind over the last few years (going by my blog, they’d be the ‘missing years’!). Brokenness of the body, of the mind/spirit and of relationships. All shatteringly painful and difficult. But phoenix-like, true healing does rise out of the ashes. I thought of the story of the cracked pot.
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and 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 master’s 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 in his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end 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 a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.” “Why?,” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws you have to do all of this work and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said. The water bearer felt sorry 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 took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure. 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. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years 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.” (author unknown)
Spend a minute today thinking about the brokenness in our world. Pray for peace, for innocent people who suffer, for people in pain, for the broken-hearted. Pray for healing. Pray for the cracked pots in your life! :)
And as for our photocopy machine, I sure hope Mr. S shows up tomorrow!