THE BROKEN VASE
by Julie Sewcharan
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“Look at this vase, Mary!” Joanna cried pitifully. “It’s broken again!”
“Joanna,” Mary said patiently with a slight reprimand, “this is the 12th time it broke. Don’t you think you ought to let go of it now? The more you try to fix it yourself, the weaker it becomes.”
Mary looked at the broken vase and shrugged with hopelessness. She was becoming a bit impatient with Joanna. Every time the vase broke, Joanna insisted on repairing it all by herself; she trusted no one else to do it. This time, however, it would not repair.
“Joanna,” Mary said more kindly, “don’t you think it’s time to get rid of this vase?”
Joanna’s body was racked with sobs. “I can’t give it up. It’s been with me for so many years. Even though it’s become ugly, it is a part of me. I must have it fixed or I lose a part of my life.”
“Look, you have been clinging on to this vestige of your life for so long and it has just stopped you from moving on. We both know that this is a reminder of your unhappy past and the more you cling to it the more you will not be able to rid yourself of your past.”
Joanna cried bitterly. “This is the only reminder I have.”
Mary was moved with compassion. She loved her friend Joanna dearly and tried to help her through her troubled times, to no avail. Although Joanna wanted to move on with her life, she found it difficult to let go of things from her past and it just stagnated her. Mary could not give up on Joanna and so every time she was called, she would try to assist Joanna through these patches of self pity.
“Joanna, I know you don’t want anyone else to even hold your vase let alone fix it for you as you’ve tried to repair it yourself each time. This time, however, you are going to have to let an expert fix it or you won’t have a vase at all – only pieces. Would you allow that?”
Joanna looked at the vase forlornly for a long time and sighed. “I guess I don’t have much of a choice,” she finally acceded.
“I can guarantee that this person is genuinely interested in helping you with your problem,” Mary reassured Joanna. “You just have to trust him.”
With a nod of acceptance from Joanna, Mary arranged that she meet with the repairer the very next day and gave her directions to get there.
At the appointed time, Joanna met with the repairer and was struck by the sincerity in his eyes. He had an aura of wonderful peace and love around him and treated Joanna to a compassionate, caring, service. A flicker of hope lit her eyes.
He displayed genuine interest in helping her repair her broken vase. He did not think it needed to be thrown away at all. She handed him the broken pieces waiting expectantly for his diagnosis.
He took it carefully in his huge hands and looked long and hard at it, scrutinising it thoroughly. Joanna felt a little bit uncomfortable.
He pursed his lips. “I’m afraid the only way I could fix this is if I replace some of these pieces with new ones which would be more suitable,” he finally stated.
Disappointed, Joanna cried, “But then it won’t be the same!”
“No, it won’t. It will still retain some of it’s original look but there will be elements of newness to it. Your vase is worn out with all the breakages and it won’t withstand any more damage. The new pieces will reinforce strength and beauty to it,” he explained lovingly.
Gingerly, taking the pieces back, Joanna sadly stated, “Then it won’t be the same vase.”
“Surely, you don’t want the same damaged vase back? Don’t you want it be a vision of beauty to display to all? It will be admired by everyone who sees it,” he said knowingly.
“This is a part of my life which I don’t want to lose,” she stated emphatically and walked out of the shop.
“You realise that you won’t be able to fix that vase again?” he called after her but whether she heard or not, he couldn’t tell but it did concern him greatly that she was not prepared to let go and start afresh.
He shook his head sadly as another one had left his care, not trusting him to restore beauty and strength to their lives. So many people just wanted to cling to the old no matter how miserable it made them. Still he hoped that she would one day realise that she can keep the vase with a transformed look and feel, and she might come back to him. He never lost hope that he could repair it for her.
God is the same with us. He never gives up on us and longs for the day when we will approach him for a new, dynamic life.
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The whole time i'm reading this, i'm thinking why would she want to hang on so hard to that part of her life. Even when she was sent to the Master to fix it. This has given me an awful feeling, not against your article, but because maybe there are things in my life that i need to let the Good Lord repair.This has been a blessing !
What a wonderful description of what God can do with our broken lives if we will only let him. Our past is broken before HIM and HE is the only one that can take it and make it beautiful again. Thank you so much for writing this.. I loved it. "casting all your care over on HIM, for HE careth for you"... GOD BLESS YOU