A couple of posts ago, I posted a devotional called Broken and Better. (In case you missed it, it’s here.)
I received a precious email comment from someone I’ll call Maryellen. I asked her permission to share it with you. I know you will be blessed by it…
This is a beautiful and encouraging object lesson, and the images of repaired objects are lovely. They make it quite easy to imagine life repaired. I’m reminded of a similar lesson related to pottery.
Some years ago, my fellow choir members and I were challenged to share favorite verses of scripture or a story with the group, and as my scheduled day to share drew near, I knew what I wanted to share.
I’ve always been intrigued with photographs and artistic images of clay pots from Bible times. Whether whole or broken, the pottery was beautiful to me. Having grown up in rough circumstances, and, at the time, in a very rocky marriage, I felt quite like a broken piece of clay pottery. Second Corinthians 4:6-9 was the passage I shared, as it gave me great hope in that time:
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine into our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (NIV)
For my sharing time, I purchased a clay vase and broke it then glued it back together, leaving a jagged hole on one side where a small piece had broken out. I then placed a candle in the bottom of the vase and lit it.
During the beginning of my talk, the still perfect side was facing my fellow choir members who saw only a limited amount of the light from the candle glowing at the top of the vase. This, to me, represents a person who acts and talks as though they have life figured out; they seem to have it all together…yet somehow don’t radiate the love of Christ.
Then, as I turned the vase around to the “ugly and broken” side, I made the point that, if we allow Christ to do so, He heals from the inside out, and through our experiences, if we are willing to open ourselves up to others, His light and power that dwells in us is more apparent to those who need to see it. The Light is comforting to behold as HE (the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature…Heb 1:3) shines out from the cracks in our earthly vessels.
That lesson still has much significance for me today, as I am older and more of life’s trials have chipped away at my heart. But I am at peace, knowing I am loved and cared for; and that in turn, He will make a way for me to share the warmth of His light and love with others He chooses to place in my path.
Jesus said, “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14-16 Msg)