Sunday, October 30, 2011

Chipped Yet Usable

                    Usefulness is not impaired by imperfection. You can drink from a chipped cup. 
~Greta Nagel

My sister's hands cradling her favorite cup
My sister has a favorite cup she uses when she visits my mother. She chooses this particular cup because she claims it has its own personality -- not only does it feel good in her hands, but it has a history that makes it special. You see, the cup is chipped along one side.

It isn't that my mother is short on porcelain or china cups. She has a “life-time” collection of beautiful tea cups to choose from. If the cup had been mine, I would have thrown it away. Instead, my mother carefully washes it each time and puts it away, ready for Melodie to use on her next visit.

I wonder how many people would have thrown me out because of my chips and imperfections. A chip around the rim from impatience, an ugly scar marring the outside caused by unconcern, and the hint of a hairline crack on the handle stemming from flippant habitual prayers. Does God ever get tired of my promises to deepen my walk with Him -- my determination burning within until the daily living causes me to bump into laxness and causes yet another chip?

And yet -- God! The Creator of my world and Creator who breathed life into me. The Father who disciplines, yet loves with abandonment. The Father who grieves over my sins while forgiving and forgetting with joy. He joys in my chips, soothes His hands over the imperfections, and uses me once again.

The next time I have tea with my mother, it will be my hands cradling the chipped cup -- finding joy in the reminder that God uses me, chips and all.


A multi-dimensional life said...

"He soothes His hands over the imperfections and uses me once again"!!!! I love that. I love this post! Isn't it beautiful and peace giving beyond description that it is the very imperfections others would reject that He places His loving hands around to heal, restore, redeem, refresh and then reveal His glory within us! I'm so grateful to Him for the way He loves all of me!
I hope your week was beautiful! xo

Mevely317 said...

Beautiful! I love, love this analogy.

Bethe77 said...

So well stated! Im so glad He loves me and uses me through all my imprefections. You surely told a beautiful story of love. Thank you. I surely will look at life a bit clear through the chips in my armour

Amy said...

Lovely! I have perfectionistic tendencies (you should see me feeling a teacup/mug before I'll buy it), so this is wonderful for me to read. Good reminder of truth.

SocialStudiesSoubrette said...

Pamela I love reading your posts. It's like reading a devotional. You should be published and share your joy of the Lord with others <3 Thank you for sharing your gift for writing.

Relyn said...

This is beautiful. I am looking forward to the time when you tell us your devotional is being published.

Charlotte said...

Sometimes the chipped ones are the best, as in the case of this teacup. I have a small mug (about the size of a teacup) that has been cracked for a long time. It is still hanging together and for some reason it is my hubby's favorite mug to drink coffee from in the mornings. I even wash it in the dishwasher. It is still hanging together. It must be a tough mug. Kind of like some people. I love your analogy. Thank you for sharing.

Jo Royal said...

Great post! I love how we can learn from every day objects and experiences. In fact, I wrote a similar post a while ago ( - about a mistake I made in a card design - and the development of thoughts from the realisation of the mistake. Totally reminded me that God doesn't throw us away when we are flawed - (just like the chipped mug!) Isn't that great :)
I loved reading this, thank you for sharing.

Laura said...

Oh, Pamela, this brought tears. I'm not sure why, but that image of your sister's special cup just touched me so. Oh, to be home where your mother knows your stories. So, so lovely.

Sharon said...

Pamela, this was just very sweet. I can just picture your mom carefully tending to "Melodie's" teacup. Precious.

And yes, such a great spiritual lesson in it, which you so eloquently wrote about. I'm sure I try God's patience - and yet, He continues to lovingly fashion this lumpy old piece of clay into something He can use.

Yup, I totally want to be a "chip off His block"!!


Rina Peru said...

It's a good analogy, Pamela - the chipped cup and God's flawed servants. That's why we ALL need a savior.
The Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ, is ever patient with us.


Ridlon Family said...

I simply love this blog! I want to chip a cup to use daily as a reminder of my frailty, and God's willingness to use me despite!

beauty said...

Really I appreciate the effort you made to share the knowledge. The topic here I found was really effective to the topic which I was researching for a long time.