Using broken things

We sometimes imagine that God must eventually "sit us down" and "explain" his mysterious ways to our satisfaction. Let us suppose we have never seen a skyscraper. We discover a whole city block surrounded by a board fence. Finding a knothole, we peer inside. Huge earth movers are at work; hundreds of men in hard hats are busy at mysterious tasks; cranes are being moved into place; truckloads of pipes and cement are being unloaded. What on earth is happening? There is nobody around to answer our questions. If we wait long enough, nobody will need to. When we see the finished building, all the incomprehensible activity becomes comprehensible. "Oh! So this is what that was for." (Elisabeth Elliot, A Lamp for My Feet)

...when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness. Psalm 17:15



The requisite after-Easter ham and bean soup. An ordinary day. An extraordinary object lesson sprang to life for me from the ashes of the day. Cleaning up the remains of supper, scrubbing beans off the table and packing up left-overs for lunches on the morrow. I looked down at this cracked bean pot. It is gray and blue and tan, not really my style. It is hand-potted, and has a rough finish that makes a grating sound when you scoop with the ladle from the bottom of the pot. The ladle is made of the same material, by the same hand. So why use a cracked pot with a rough finish that I don't really like? Because I love it. I don't like it, but I love it. You see, my mother made it. Back in her potting days in college. I suppose I could set it gingerly on a shelf for display somewhere. But putting a cracked bean pot on display seems a little...well, cracked to me! So I use it, and hope it will withstand many more years of steaming hot soup at our busy supper table.

I am the cracked pot with the rough finish. Why does God choose me? Why put me through more tests, when He knows exactly how fragile I am? Why, to use me of course! Because even if He sometimes doesn't like what I'm doing, He loves me. Because His father made me.