I would like to share a story
with you that I read a while back. The story goes like this:
"There was once a water bearer in China
who had two large pots. Each of these pots hung on a pole that he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in
it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
the end of the long walk from the stream to the 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 to his house. Of course, the perfect pot
was proud of it’s accomplishments, perfect 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.
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 because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house" The bearer said to the
pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?"
That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day
while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate
my table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house." ~ Author
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots, and none of us are
perfect. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives so very interesting and rewarding. We all have our
good points, and we all have our faults and our weaknesses. We are all uniquely different and have our own special personalities
and talents. You may have talents and abilities that I don’t have, and at the same time, I may be able to do things
that you can’t. But one thing we can be sure of is that God made each and every one of us in HIS image, and we are special.
We don’t always feel special, though, and we don’t always feel loved.
We get depressed, we get down, and we forget WHO made us, and we forget WHO we belong to.
commanded us to "Love one another".... but DO we? Do we treat everyone the same regardless of who or what they are,
or the situations in their lives. The handicapped, the ones who are less fortunate that ourselves, those who need a loving
touch or a tender word.
There was once a little boy who was handicapped. His
body was disfigured and he didn’t look the same as the other children in his neighborhood. Yet everyday he went to school,
and did his best to fit in. One day after a school program, the little boy’s father overheard one of the other parents
comment, "Where is God’s perfection, that He would allow a child to be born like that"? The little boy’s
father turned to the lady and said, "God’s perfection is not in the handicap that my son deals with, but His perfection
is in the way that people learn to treat him". Are we embarassed to be around people who are less fortunate than we are,
or do we treat them with respect and love?
Like the little boy in this story, there are those who are disfigured and
"cracked" so to speak because they were born that way, but there are also those who are "cracked" because
of life’s situations, and things they have been made to deal with.
Life’s problems weigh them down, and keep them from being the people
they should be. They get so caught up in them that they can’t see anything else, and they think there is no hope. They
take on a personality that is completely different than the one God gave them. Their problems become their identity. Anger,
depression, resentments, painful childhood memories, shame, guilt, people pleasing, defeat. They try to make it as presentable
as possible, and as long as everything looks pretty on the surface, no one will ever notice how bad it really is deep inside.
No one will ever know what they’re really going through. They shut themselves off from other people, and we sometimes
get the wrong impression. We think they’re snobby, or think they’re better than us, but we’re really just
crying out for help. They don’t think they have a purpose and sometimes even think the world would be better off without
They hide behind the things that are going on in their lives and feel safe
because people will never know who they really are or what they’re dealing with. But it gets pretty lonely for them,
and they begin to feel isolated, sitting in their own little corner of the world, surrounded by the problems that are going
on in their lives, believing that no one knows. But God knows.
Do you know people like that? People who are maybe shy and introverted,
and you think they’re being stuck up? Maybe it’s a disguise, and maybe they’re crying out for help. You
see, the thing about God is that He knows everything about us. He knows the number of hairs in our head, and the Bible says
in Psalms 139: 17-18, that HIS thoughts of us are more in number than the grains of sand on the beach. He is with us when
we sleep, and He still with us when we awake.
We don’t have the luxury
of being able to see inside people’s minds. We don’t know what they’re feeling at times, and we don’t
know what makes them the way they are. But God commands us to "love them". You might say, "it’s pretty
hard to love someone when they won’t let you". Yes, that’s true, but if you let them know you’re there,
and that you care, one by one they will start to lower their defenses, and they will trust, and they will maybe come to know
God and realize that He is there in the midst of their problems, and can help them through them. When we surround them with
love, we not only make them feel better, but it makes us feel pretty good, too.
And then there are those that
are less fortunate than us. "Oh, but God, he smells funny.... Surely you don’t want me to love him? Humility is
a word that has been weighing on my mind a lot lately. Pride although good is a terrible thing. It’s good to take pride
in ourselves, and what we do, but at the same time, when we have false pride, and hold ourselves to be better than others,
it becomes an ugly thing.
How many times do we shy away of people because they
smell bad, don’t wear nice clothes, the handicapped, the undesirables so to speak?
didn’t shy away from them. He humbled Himself to wash people’s feet, He went among the crowds in all the different
situations, met people where they were, at their levels and He loved them just as they were. And then as if that wasn’t
enough, He humbled himself even lower when He went to the cross and hung there being spit upon and laughed at, and for what....
for US.... Christ humbled Himself and gave the ultimate sacrifice for US, and all He asks in return is that we love HIM, and
love one another.
is a lot like a painting. A painting has lots of different colors and shades, some lighter, some brighter, some darker. When
you look at each part individually, some might seem prettier than others, but when you put them all together, you end up with
a beautiful piece of art. When you look at individuals, it’s the same way. There are people with vibrant personalities,
those who are full of life, (bright colors); you have people who are quiet and withdrawn, those who do not know how to express
themselves well and clam up when they’re around other people (dark colors); and sometimes there are those who seem to
have different personalities, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, and their lives are kind of like a rollercoaster. (shades of
Regardless of our shortcomings, or the things that happen in our lives,
those things do not, or rather SHOULD NOT, define us as a person. We are special in God’s eyes, and He loves us.
I love roses. When I look for flowers to plant in my flower
bed, I ususally go for the red ones, or the ones that are shades of red, but I like other colors mixed in too. Occasionally
I'll find a blue rose, and although rare, they have a beauty all their own. Each one of us, regardless of
who we are, or our situation, is beautiful and has our own gift to give.
I have always told
my girls that God sends people into our lives to either bless us or to be blessed by us. Don’t allow yourself
to miss out on the blessings God has in store for you by limiting yourself to only the "perfect" roses of life.
Roses don’t always look the same. Sometimes the petals droop, and the stems are bent, and sometimes one rose might not
be as fragrant as another. Yet, I have found that even though some may appear less than perfect, they each
have their own beautiful qualities, and sometimes the most "unperfect" have the best fragrance. Don’t
pass them by just because they’re different. Take time to smell the roses, enjoy each one for it’s beauty and special
qualities, and let God find His perfection in You.