Mental Health Ministries

The Cracked Chalice

The Cracked ChaliceA friend of mine makes stunning and unique pieces of pottery.

Larry finds, in the process of centering the clay and working with his hands, that he himself becomes centered. The concentration it takes to throw a pot requires attentiveness to the task, allowing him, for a time, to let go of worry and stress.

Larry freely shares his creations, allowing others to use his chalices and plates for worship. Sometimes he offers them for sale after a retreat or conference is over.

As I passed by Larry's display table, I was inspired by the tall, stately chalices representing the tree of life. But what caught my attention was a much smaller chalice hidden behind the more attractive pieces. As I picked it up, I could see the cracks in the base where the clay had split due to the intense heat during the process of firing.

I knew I had found my chalice! Having been through my own trials by fire, I know I am that cracked and flawed vessel. But the Everywhere Spirit still finds way to use me.

I often use my cracked chalice to hold a candle on a worship center I create for classes I teach. At one of those classes, the chalice was accidentally dropped and it broke in several places. I tried to hide my disappointment at the loss. But one of the retreat participants, knowing how much the chalice meant to me, took it home and painstakingly glued each piece back in place. At the next class session, I was presented with a "whole" chalice.

The cracked chalice gets more chips and flaws over time, but I continue to use it to hold a candle. Each time the lighted flame dances in celebration, I am reminded that, no matter what happens in our lives, the Everywhere Spirit is present to bring restoration and healing, in spite of our many cracks.