Here is another non-Biblical parable to share with your kids. This story has been told often in Christian settings, but it’s original source is unknown. It’s origin is most likely an ancient Indian folktale. It is a story about brokenness and embracing our weakness to allow God to work through us.
The Parable of the Cracked Pot
Every morning a water bearer walked to a stream to fetch water. The water bearer carried the water in two pots on a wooden pole. One pot was perfectly formed, but the other pot had a crack in its side.
Every day the water bearer traveled to the stream and back home and every day half of the water in the cracked pot would leak out of its side.
The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishment. It did its duty flawlessly every day. It felt bad for the cracked pot for leaking so much water.
The cracked pot was full of shame. It felt like a failure.
Finally at the end of another failed trip, it apologized to its master. “I am so ashamed,” it said. “I failed you and I’m not worthy to carry water for you. Please find a new pot to carry your water.”
The water bearer responded with a smile, “Why are you ashamed? Look back upon the side of the path. What do you see?”
There all along the side of the path where the cracked pot had leaked its water grew beautiful bushels of wild flowers. The flowers stretched from the house all the way to the stream.
The water bearer explained, “I knew about your flaw and we created something beautiful together from it. I planted seeds along the side of the path because I knew the water you held would allow those seeds to grow. Your brokenness has enabled so much beauty to flourish in the world! Thank you for being just the way you are.”
The Parable of the Cracked Pot Summary
A water bearer carried two pots of water on a wooden pole. One pot was perfectly formed, but the other had a crack. The cracked pot apologized for it’s brokenness, but the water bearer pointed behind them. Along the side of the path where the cracked pot leaked water, beautiful flowers bloomed. The water bearer left the crack on purpose so that the pot’s water would nourish the seeds.
The Parable of the Cracked Pot Bible Verse
“Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”—2 Corinthians 12:10
Parable of the Cracked Pot Questions
- Why did the water bearer keep using the cracked pot?
- Are you trying to be like the perfect pot or cracked pot in your life? Why?
- What are some embarrassing parts of yourself that make you unique?
- What characteristics about yourself makes you feel shame like the cracked pot?
- How is the water bearer in the story like God?
- What are some good things that have grown out of your weaknesses?
Download and Print this Story and Questions
Download a PDF of this story along with the questions for reflection or discussion.