Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How to Repair a Cracked Vase

The fall was a time of some major highs and lows in our family.

Pat gets offered a promotion - high.
We need to move - low.
Asking God to provide and seeing it happen - high.
Settling into new everything - low.
There were, of course, many others, but you get the picture.

Through the entire roller-coaster ride, we leaned hard on God. It was a new thing in our marriage - to pray together - but we pushed through our discomfort and did it, daily. Regardless of my emotions, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit over every moment of every day.

We are settled into our new life and its routines. The kids seem to be comfortable at their new schools. We have decided to make our new church our "home" church. Along the way we've even had a few free moments to make some friends.

But there's an underlying sense of...something. Sadness? Emptiness? Unfulfilled-ness? (Yes, I do realize that's not a word!) There's this thing that's nagging at me. God feels far away. I know that He didn't take a step back from me, which means I'm the one that moved.

Last year (2009) I memorized 24 Scripture verses; this year, zilch. Last fall our family was a family of prayer - Pat and I prayed together, we prayed with the kids, we prayed with friends, we prayed over every single decision; this year, at least we still pray at mealtimes and bedtimes with the kids. Last year I committed to getting up at 5:30am for my quiet time with the Lord and I rarely missed a morning; this year I rise a little bit early on random days and try to squeeze in a few minutes. I used to be responsible for mentoring many other women in their walk with the Lord, and I took that calling seriously; without that level of accountability I have allowed myself to slack off.

Just as it is no surprise that I gained back all my lost weight when I decided to "take a break" from exercising and eating well, I shouldn't be surprised that taking a break from vital spiritual habits has placed distance between me and God.

So here I am, working to piece together the fragments of my faith. I am like a vase that developed a hairline crack, and as time wore on little shards of clay fell out here and there. Not broken, not destroyed, but fractured and in need of repair.

How to Repair a Cracked Vase:

Step one: Pick up the section of the vase that seems easiest to fit back into place. For me, this means returning to the basics of Scripture memory.

Step two: Be generous with the crazy glue and hold it there until it dries. I need to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work settling the Word of God in my heart and mind.

Repeat steps one and two until each segment and sliver of clay is picked up off the floor. A few of the larger chunks I can see are morning time, praise, and prayer. It's the smaller fragments, though, that will take great concentration to fit back into place. Things like a hunger for God's Word, peace in my soul, and sensing those little nudges from the Holy Spirit.

While the vase may never be restored to its original beauty, it will be whole again. The shadow of those cracked places will forever be a reminder of what caused the vase to crack and the hard work invested in its repair. And those cracks, they will serve to let the Light shine through a little bit more than it did before the fracture happened.

holy experience


  1. It will be more beautiful. Cracks, like wrinkles, show wisdom and experience.
    The good work will be completed. Amen!

  2. When I visit the thrift shopp or yard sale I gravitate to chips and cracks because I love to dream and wonder where this piece has been what it has had to deal with. Did it sit in a charming grammas cupboard and used everyday or was it smuggled in to Germany during WW2 and had it fallen when the Nazi broke into the home of a righteous Jew?The years seem to make it so beautiful. Strengthen your cracks but never no never wish them gone for when a traveler looks upon you she will wonder the same and know that she is not garbage just because she broke she will know that her worth is far above!
    You are blessed,
    Kelley Ahearn

  3. This is beautiful, Tyler. And I can completely relate. My time with the Lord is sporadic, and it affects every other part of my life. Like you wrote yesterday, it all starts with one small step, one small thing. That has been my mantra lately: "Just do the next thing". :)

  4. Very wise words. I appreciate your honesty in sharing where you're at, and your desire to get back to where you were in total dependence. We ebb and flow in the things we do to stay connected, huh?

    Thanks for blessing me today with a piece of your life.

  5. Thanks Tyler. I too am a cracked vase just staring at the pieces today...


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