There once was a plain little vase that was not outstanding in any way, but was quite good enough the way she was. She was functional and practical and did what was expected of her. She could hold a few randomly picked daisies or a rose or two, but nothing more; she just wasn’t capable of it. And although unremarkable for the most part, she was content.
Over time, she found herself in the hands of those that were not so careful with her. Time and again, she was dropped, knocked over and tossed around carelessly. She was sturdy, to be sure, but hardly unbreakable. Cracks began to form on her surface and pieces of her were chipped away. Her structure weakened, but she tried to remain strong as long as she possibly could.
Eventually, however, the mistreatment was too much for her to bear. The cracks widened and she simply couldn’t hold herself together anymore. It was a sorrowful day when she found herself in pieces on the floor, only fragments left of what she used to be. She was entirely broken and, she felt, useless now for even the most menial task.
As she wept with shame over what she had become, a shadow appeared over her. It was the Master Artist, watching her with eyes of compassion and anticipation.
“Don’t bother with me,” she pleaded, “I’m beyond repair. I’m not even a vase now, just pieces of something that used to be. Something I can’t be anymore.”
“No, you can’t,” the Artist gently answered, “but in My hands, you can be something better.”
Then lovingly, carefully, He gathered up what was left of her. And with a skill and precision unmatched by any other, He began to form something new. The jagged edges were smoothed and melded together, creating a vessel that was stronger than it had ever been before. She took on a stunning shape and glowing polish and became not only useful again, but beautiful.
And as she observed her new self, she noticed that the chips and cracks that had broken her apart were still there, but they now formed a lovely, intricate pattern, distinguishing her from any other vase and yet, connecting her to all those that were, themselves, also broken. She began to look at them as adornment rather than disfigurement.
The Artist finished His work, holding her close in His loving hands. She was now all that He had seen in her from the beginning, but was only possible through her being broken and remade. In His hands, her broken pieces were not useless fragments of shameful junk, but elements of a new design, a new work of art.
Due to her new-found strength, the little vase was now placed in a position of prominence and, knowing she could bear it, was filled with a large bouquet of lovely, fragrant flowers. She was a delight and brought a smile to all who passed by.
Remembering her former state, she marveled at how content she had been to do so little, when she was capable of so much. Although she never would have chosen to be broken the way she was, she couldn’t help but feel some gratefulness for it. For without it, she never would have become what she now was - the best version of herself. Her brokenness had become her beauty.
Read more articles by Lori Othouse or search for articles on the same topic or others.