This bowl is one of my symbols of leadership. Jackie Mahoney, who teaches me to work with clay, crafted it. Jackie makes the perfect teacher for me – she lets me try things out and make mistakes, and then when I need help she gives it. Jesus did that too – he allowed freedom so that his disciples could learn to be independent. He said to Mary, “Don’t hold onto me”.
During this bowl’s first firing it cracked. It shows a scar. Something in its being was vulnerable to the heat of the fire and it couldn’t maintain its structure. Jackie mended it with glass, in the tradition of Japanese kintsugi, embracing the flaw, the imperfection, and choosing to accept change. I am cracked, but my prayer is that Jesus mends me with glass and gold, a cracked pot through which his light can shine, and be reflected though me into the world.
What sort of a leader is Jesus? One who meets us on the journey and accepts us as we are, because he too bears scars. Jesus encourages us to live life abundantly and love one another fully. This is our faith – this is the Spirit bubbling up within every Christian. This is our journey to become more like Jesus.