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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Break (02/06/06)

TITLE: The Broken Vase


And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9 – NKJV).

Monday evening our second daughter was born. Jessica was beautiful with a full head of hair. Everything seemed to be perfect despite the complicated labor. What we didn’t know was going on inside in her blood stream and would take several days to manifest itself.

Sunday morning we knew something was terribly wrong. Jessica had moaned constantly through the night and arched her back letting out blood curdling screams when I tried to pick here up for comfort. By morning she wouldn’t nurse or take formula from a bottle. The emergency room doctor put her in ICU and prepared us for the worst. Jessica had Bacterial Meningitis. Pressure was causing the meningies (the insulating layer of tissue around the brain and spinal cord) to swell. During the crises swelling caused bleeding into her brain destroying brain tissue in its path.

Months later Jessica had a developmental evaluation. Infants who are hospitalized for long periods of time typically show slower development even if there is no physical damage. Most doctors will have these “high risk” infants evaluated before they even leave the hospital and again as concerns develop. The evaluation showed some areas of concern, and the therapist counseled me on the results.

“If a vase is dropped and gets cracked or broken you throw it away. If the same vase is an expensive heirloom, you glue it back together and display it on a self.”

I was appalled at her choice of word pictures.

“The value is reduced, but you don’t throw it out like the common everyday vase.”

There was only professional support and concern in her voice. She was trying to put her findings in terms she thought a parent would understand. I responded accordingly keeping my thoughts to myself. The therapist didn’t understand the worth of a human soul.

The value of human life doesn’t change because of injury or deformity. Men and women are created with the capacity to commune with God. Salvation brings with it the command to reflect God’s glory to a lost world. What the therapist didn’t realize is the increased value a crack or brake gives as it increases the usefulness of God’s vessels. The world can better see God’s glory reflected through a cracked or broken vase.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Edy T Johnson 02/14/06
Beautiful illustration of truth the whole world needs to see: brokeness only enhances the worth of a soul.
Phyllis Inniss02/14/06
You have put this truth across so beautifully, that one can share in your pain as you come to terms with what care you have to administer to your loved one. It is to the weak and lame that Jesus demonstrated most abundantly His love.
Jan Ackerson 02/14/06
What a lovely final sentence!
Betsy Tacchella02/20/06
Clearly you have been through quite a trial. Your response of valuing all life has not gone unnoticed by God. May God bless you and your baby as you persevere. Thanks for sharing your story.
Joe Moreland02/20/06
Within your piece is found one of the most profound truths of the Bible - God uses our weakness to display His strength. In actuality, those who have a physical disability, one that is visible to all who meet them, have a bit of an advantage when it comes to this truth. Those of us whose disabilities lie beneath the surface all too often allow ourselves to take credit for God's work within our lives, preventing ourselves from reflecting His glory to the world. Perhaps it really us who have the real developmental problems.