Sweat beading down his forehead, hands covered in mold.

He was nearly done.

Smooth. Smooth. Mold

Oh no!

And he was so close! The pottery was almost finished!

And now it’s marred.

He straightened his back and threw his hands in the air in frustration. All the hours of hard work and gentle molding wasted. He looked at the marred pottery and shook his heads sadly, fighting back the tears.

He was surprised at the intensity of the emotions that washed over him; he wasn’t this emotional. It must have been the strain of work that was getting to him. Plus he had nursed high hopes for the work in hand. He had been excited because he was trying something new; it was like nothing he had ever done-and each work is never the same.

‘‘God!’’ he exclaimed.  The picture in his mind before embarking on the project had been perfect. But this, looking at the marred pottery, this was far from that perfect image.

His apprentice was looking at him from across the room, and thinking it was over moved to clear the mess from the wheel.

But no, no he had misinterpreted his master’s gesture; his frustration did not mean it was over. He had not given up on the lump of clay. In fact a new idea-a better idea-was already forming in his mind.

He shook his head at the apprentice gesturing him to leave it be- and smiled at him, his tear filled eyes twinkling with excitement.

He looked down at the marred pottery and the picture of what it could be filled his mind, followed closely by a wave of pain and regret-it would never become a reality. But never mind, something better will be replacing it.

The clay was still wet; it was not beyond fixing.  Well, not fixing but remodeling, refashioning, renewal, re-birth.

So, leaning forward, he set to work with a renewed fervor on the renewed project. Moments later, he was lost in his work, oblivious to everything around him.

Hours passed, and he wasn’t even aware of it, his face bore no hint of frustration; just pure pleasure, and excitement, and hope.


The young apprentice stared at his master astounded. He couldn’t understand it. His patience was unnatural, his faith in the lump of clay, his hope and dedication.

‘He never gives up’ he wondered.


The broken pottery could not believe it too. It stared wide-eyed in a state of daze. Initially, it had been full of hope, daydreaming about how amazing it would be when it was finished. That was before it got marred.

Then it had been despair that prevailed: Hopelessness reigned, hope was shattered; all was lost.

But not anymore.

The potter has put his hands back on the wheel. There was hope.

And then as the wheel started spinning again, hope soared, increasing with each revolution.
The potter was gently but firmly kneading it; and when the pain came again, it was a welcome feeling. The pain was good; it meant the potter was still at work: that he had not given up. It meant that the future was not bleak but glorious…


[“Can I not do to you as the potter to the clay? Says the Lord…” Jeremiah 18:6]

Dear Lord, I know I am broken and marred and… but I also know that I am not beyond fixing. Please Father, fix me-break me, mold me and fashion me into the best you want for me.

Dedicated to all who are broken, hurt and agonizing over the past, stuck in the present who see no way out, no hope…

There’s hope!

Go to the potter’s house…go be fixed.



5 thoughts on “Broken

  1. Doc, this is a very inspirational piece. God the potter, is the only perfect being and we’re cracked pots that the Good Lord has absolutely no qualms ’bout using to do His good works. This write-up reminds me of a story I read about just recently, one that has to do with the value of cracked pots.

    A water bearer in India had two large pots hanging at the end of a pole that he carried across his neck. One of the 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 other pot had a crack in it and by the time it reached its destination, it was only half-full. Everyday for two years, the water bearer delivered only one and one-half pots of water to the Master’s house.

    The perfect pot gloried in its accomplishment while the other was despaired and utterly miserable because of its crack, which it saw as an imperfection. After two years of what the imperfect pot perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer and said. “I am ashamed of myself and I want to apologize to you”. To which the water bearer responded “ Why? What are you ashamed of?” “Well, for these past two years, said the cracked pot, I’ve been able to deliver only half a load of water each day because this crack on my side allows for water to leak out all the way back to the Master’s house; which therefore means less pay for you”.

    The water bearer felt sorry for the cracked pot and in His compassion He said “As we return to the Master’s house, I want you to notice the flowers by the way, along the path”. Indeed, the cracked pot noticed the beautiful wild flowers along the path and by the time they reached the Master’s house, it became saddened again. Its pot was only half-full again.

    The water bearer noticing this said to the pot, “did you notice there were flowers only on your side of the path and not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I’ve always known your flaws and took advantage of it by planting flower seeds along your side of the path. Everyday we walked back from the stream, you watered those seeds and for two years, I’ve picked those beautiful flowers to decorate my Master’s table. Without you being just what you are, he would not have had this beauty to grace his house”.

    Like that cracked pot, even as we strive for perfection, we can actually accomplish wonderful things and make someone happy still, inspite of our supposed imperfections.


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