The pot in itself looks lovely and yet if you study it closely you can see scratch marks on its body, evidence that it has been used and not just left as a decorative piece. Look at the shelf to its right and you can see a small piece of the pottery which has obviously chipped off from somewhere; the pot is damaged.
So often, life is like that. We are knocked by the things that happen to us; damaged emotionally by things that are said or unsaid with bits chipped off our personalities. At times we are afraid to truly reveal the real person for fear of rejection, abuse, hurt. We find it hard to share doubts about our faith because we might look less than we should be. We are scared of being vulnerable.
And yet it is often in the knocks of life, the hardships we face, the crisis`s we endure that our true character is formed. I know in my own life there have been difficulties and crisis moments; my own health which meant I should have died before hitting my teens, my eldest daughters leg amputation, the passing of my beloved Mum far too early, the deterioration of my health last year and how close I came to a breakdown leading to the more recent curtailment of my last appointment have all impacted on the way I see the world and how I live it. It’s the same for all of us ~ we are all products of our history and circumstances.
However, the way we then choose to take our circumstances and live from them makes all the difference in the world. I know people who moan constantly on Facebook about this or that (often quite trivial things like the weather) and almost delight in constantly seeking reassurance from others about themselves. I know of one lady who delighted in a miracle which restored her young sons walking but who a couple of years later left the Church because “it was uncaring” when I suspect it was more to do with not being the centre of attention any more.
On the other side of the coin I think of a 90-year-old lady who passed away earlier this year, but for whom her family was her total life. She thought nothing of doing the shopping for them all, of organising a party for her great-grandchildren and at church she loved being able to be the one who would walk down to open it up every week. Olives attitude was one of serving others, despite the many tragedies she had lived through and despite the pain she was often in. Olive faced life full-on and was chipped and hurt in the process.
But look again at the picture and see the colour in the background. I put it to you that despite the knocks and pain, the chips and damage, when we are seeking to serve others we bring colour into their lives. When we fulfil the purpose for which our Lord created us we bring others to life and allow them to blossom and flourish.
After all Jesus was damaged by the abuse, suffered on the cross and died in shame. But out of it all came the Church, the spreading of His word and His love. You and I have the potential to follow His model. We can crumble under life’s weight and bemoan our lot, or we can see the possibility of colour in others, the joy of laughter and fun in the world around us, and the fullness of life that God has given us in Jesus who said “I have come that you may have life and life in all its fullness”
Monday morning ? I`m going to get knocked this week (I know it) but boy, am I going to enjoy my life and do what I can to bring colour into the lives of others, that they may know the love of Jesus.
Come on, join me !