Sunday, May 10, 2015

Cracked pots on Mother's Day...

Mother's Day is always a day filled with mixed emotions. While I am so thankful for my mother-in-law, I miss my own mom on this day. I remember all those years when becoming a mother myself seemed like an impossible dream, and I am now so thankful for my precious children and their birthmoms - but painfully aware of my failings as a mom. I'd ask for a do-over, but I'm pretty sure I'd mess that up, too. 

Then of course there is the pressure of buying a gift. How do you say thank-you to one who has given so much but also really doesn't "want" anything? That's why this year I was so excited when I saw the "perfect" gift to give my sweet mother-in-law. I was wasting time...browsing on Facebook the other day and I saw a post by a friend featuring some pottery - broken pottery.

Now the term "cracked pot" does not usually have a positive connotation. According to Webster's Dictionary, a crackpot is "a person who is crazy or very strange," but the moment I saw the picture of this cracked pottery I saw so much more. 

According to the website, Kintsukuroi is the "Japanese art of repairing precious broken pottery with seams of gold with the understanding that the piece has become even more valuable and beautiful in its brokenness." That alone speaks volumes. But when I saw the pottery, this verse immediately came to mind, 

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NIV) "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us."

When I saw the broken pieces of the pottery seamed together once again with gold, I saw the power of God shining through all those cracks. It is in our brokenness that God's mercy and grace truly shine through!

I immediately contacted the person who created the pottery to find out where I could purchase a piece in time for Mother's Day. This delightful lady informed me that she had discovered this art form after losing a precious family member and it so touched her life that she started to create it herself to share with others who had undergone a loss or a tragedy. Then she went on to say something that made each piece even more special. 

She told me that no two pieces break the same...each one breaks in a different way so when they are put back together, they are unique. How true this is in our lives. No two of us handle the trials of life the same, but that doesn't mean it is wrong. We may be broken "differently" but if we allow ourselves to be put into the Master's Hands, He will shine through the broken pieces so that all you really notice is His glory. And the more broken we are, the more He can shine through!

These verses also spoke to me in this: 

Psalm 147:3 (NIV) "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

John 12:3 (NIV) "Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume."

Notice the last part of that second verse, "the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume." According to the account of this in Mark, she "broke the jar". When we are broken, whatever is inside will come spilling out. I want what spills out to be God and His mercy and grace.

This Mother's Day I look forward to taking this gift to my Mother-in-law. Life has not always been easy for her, but she has allowed God to shine through the broken places. She has also loved me as her own and for that I am thankful.

I'd give one of these to my own mother, but she is living with Jesus now and seeing His full glory. Plus she had her very own "cracked pot" in me, and I'm pretty sure it is thanks to her prayers that I am able to say thank you for the broken places in my own life.

Happy Mother's Day to all the other "cracked pots" out there. May His light truly shine through the broken places in us.

Link to Kintsukuroi site that started all this: Kintsukuroi by Jean (facebook page) 

Link to song about broken pieces: Hillsong - Broken vessels (Amazing Grace)

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