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Full text and analysis may be found on Elisa Pearmain's delightful site.

There's a little different version here• http://www.developingteachers.com/articles_tchtraining/story3_michael.htm
A simplified version here.• http://www.mouthshut.com/user/Traveller.html
Here's a site that attributes the story to China.

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"The Cracked Pot" is a surefire "amen" story for all ages. It's also called "Two Pots." And telling the story always gives me the chance to tack on the ending, "So if someone calls you a Crackpot, you'll know it's a compliment. I ALWAYS do."

More about "The Cracked Pot": these sites have their own slant on the story.



A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.  One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.  For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master's house.  Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments.  But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfections, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.  "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."  "Why?" asked the bearer.  "What are you ashamed of?"  I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house.  Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work and you don't get full value for your efforts," the pot said. The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the master's house I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.  But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it hadleaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path but not on the other pot's side?  That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it.  I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them.  For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table.  Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house." Each of us has our own unique flaws.  We're all cracked pots.  But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father's table.  In God's great economy, nothing goes to waste. So as we seek ways to minister together and as God calls you to the tasks He has appointed for you, don't be afraid of your flaws.  Acknowledge them and allow Him to take advantage of them, and you, too, can be the cause of beauty in His pathway.

Go out boldly, knowing that in our weakness we find His strength and that "In Him every one of God's promises is a Yes".

This story was sent to me by my dear friend, Kyle. Feeling like a "cracked pot" many times, myself, I wanted to share it with you. It reminds me of Wayne's song, "Field of Souls" and that, although we don't always see our worth for God, He does. Maybe our "Field of Souls" is being the water for someone elses field sometimes so that their field can bloom. Thanks, Kyle. ~ Harriet

Full-text story at:

Here's the only source that I have in my file. It was sent to Mary Grace from Dallas Storyteller Dan Gibson.
Monday, March 12, 2001 4:18 PM
Subject: Another Crack in the Pot
Since "The Cracked Pot" story was discussed recently, I thought I'd send y'all this bit of background which came today from Dan Gibson, Dallas' storyteller/banjo player. He has this story and another Indian story from
the source named below on his website (present and "soon-to-be" addresses in his signoff.)

Mary Grace K.

Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2001 13:10:43 -0600
From: Dan H Gibson
To: mketner
Dr. Damania provided more details to the Gujarati story-behind-the-story. It will be posted soon. You might be
able to use this, too.

Here's what he told me about the "Cracked Pot" story on the web site: In India (he wasn't specific about western India), the water carrier (called a "bishti" -- a word you don't want to type incorrectly) was once an important part of village life. He carried water for the whole village, and the job was passed from generation to generation. Sometimes he used earthen pots slung on a bamboo pole, but more often he would use leather pouches carrying 30-40 gallons of water. The bishti's importance has dwindled with the advancement of modern water delivery systens, but Dr. Damania has seen them in recent years. There are still some places
which pack animals, carts or motorized vehicles can't go, but a bishti can.

Dan G.

4) The message (if not the watery theme) of this story always reminds me of Leonard Cohen's song "Anthem." The chorus goes:

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack, in everything
That's how the light gets in

Fran S. 1/13/10

5) You can find one version of this story here:

Judy S. 1/13/10

6) Here is one version:

Karen C. 1/13/10

7) From a Google search:

Mary G. 1/13/10

Created 2005; last update 1/13/10

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