November 20, 2023
Reflections – Pots
Near my home in East Texas, I once attended a spiritual retreat where one of the participation exercises revolved around pots. We were encouraged to do a “contemplative walk” around the grounds, where we would observe clay pots at three locations. Actually, they were large clay urns. We were to stop at each location and consider what we saw.
The first location yielded a broken pot. If you approached it from a particular angle, you would not notice that it was broken. However, from another angle, it was cracked, with a large piece lying on the ground. It was artistically attractive but not useful for much more.
At the second location, we came upon three lovely clay urns. They marked the entrance to a chapel and, at first blush, seemed to be “first class.” They were intact and could hold water. Upon closer inspection, one could see that even these pots had once been broken. The lines where they had been repaired were obvious. What I observed was a “community” of pots, some with scars, but all of which could hold water. It struck me, however, that even if they held water, they might not be useful if the water only served to “grow mosquitoes.”
The third location had a single pot like the three at location two. However, this pot had water gushing out the top, living water, water that could bring life. The pot was not broken. It was not stagnant. But it was alone except for whatever source provided the water that flowed through it.
It seems to me that our churches (and perhaps even our families) are like these pots. Together, they form a community. Some are broken. Some show scars. Some are stagnant. Some are exuding life. But taken together, they are a community, and together, they are much more than anyone who might try to stand alone. Isn’t that primarily what the body of Christ is all about?
Blessings and peace,
Disclaimer statement: Please note that the opinions expressed herein are those of the Chaplain alone and are based on his personal understanding of scripture and how God works in our lives.
Read more Reflections: Chaplain’s Corner.