The cracked pot

A water bearer in India had two large pots. Each hung on one end of a pole, which he daily carried across his neck from his master’s house to a stream and back.

One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was whole and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house. The pot without any cracks was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for the job for which it was made.

The cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it was able to deliver only half of the water it carried from the stream. After two years of daily carrying only half the portion of water, one day the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer, “I am ashamed of myself and I want to apologise to you.”

“Why?” asked the bearer, “What are you ashamed of?”

“For these past two years, I have been able to deliver only half of my load, because this crack in me causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my defect you have to do more work to carry enough water for the day,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot and said to it, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path.”

This cheered the cracked pot somewhat. But at the end of the trail it still felt bad, because it had leaked out half its load and so again, it apologised to the bearer for its failure.

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 side?" The cracked pot replied, "Yes, I wonder why…”

The bearer explained, “That’s because I have always known about your crack and took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path and every day while we walk back from the stream, water leaking from your crack has watered them. For two years now I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, the master would not have beautiful flowers for his house.”

Moral: God provides us the opportunity to serve Him and others depending on our ability. So without worrying about whether we have the ability to serve, we should focus on spiritual practice and take up all the opportunities to serve.

Leave a Comment