I’ve been feeling like a cracked vessel lately.
I have a pretty tough outer shell. I developed quite a veneer when I handled injury claims for a major insurance company. After you’re called every name in the book (often in multiple languages), you get pretty tough.
I’m a leader in women’s ministry. I don’t get called names, necessarily, but recently, I found out that some people weren’t too happy with me. My outer shell started to crack a bit.
In fact, I’ve cracked quite a lot this summer, it seems! But I’ve discovered something about those cracks: They are there by God’s design. I’ve worked pretty hard in the past at closing up those cracks with emotional Bondo as quickly as possible. But God showed me something that made me leave them be.
I recently came upon 2 Corinthians 4. I’ve read it many times before, but just as Scripture is wont to do, I read it with new eyes. It says, in 2 Corinthians 4:6-10:
6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
This Scripture tells us that we have this treasure, this Light of Jesus, inside us. And it refers to us as “jars of clay.” If you were to put a light inside just any old jar of clay, you wouldn’t be able to see it. (Remember the story of Gideon? The fighting men with Gideon kept their lights inside clay jars until they snuck up on the enemy. This gave them the element of surprise when they broke the jars.)
But if you put a light in a jar with a few cracks, the light seeps out of those little fissures and can be seen by anyone in the room. The more cracks, the more light shows through. God was telling me, “Stop slathering on the glue! Let those cracks remain. They are how other people see my light through your earthen vessel.”
So, this Jar O’Clay is doing just that. How do you like the new crackle finish? I hope it’s illuminating.