May 14, 2020

Cracks: Good? Or Bad? by Ruth L. Snyder

The writing theme for May has to do with writing in the cracks of time. Although I am going to write about cracks, my post is not going to follow the theme in the truest sense of interpretation. Instead, I invite you to think about the idea of cracks and whether they are good or bad.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word, crack, is a meaning with a negative connotation. Something that is cracked is usually broken. A broken teacup is not able to be used for its intended purpose of drinking tea. Does that mean the teacup is worthless and needs to be thrown in the garbage? Not necessarily. Check out these twelve creative ways to use broken china.

When people speak of a person "cracking under pressure", that also has negative connotations. The phrase is used to describe someone who is not able to handle a certain type of stress, such as performing in public. We all have stress, but when that stress is more intense or lasts for a long time, some people have a mental breakdown. However, sometimes cracking under pressure is a good thing. Think about a lowly egg. If we could not crack the shell, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the egg and be nourished by it. The same is true of many nuts.

The crack of dawn could be seen as a positive thing if you are a morning person and you are looking forward to a new day with fresh opportunities. The crack of dawn would be seen as negative to someone on death row awaiting execution on that particular day.

We also talk about cracking the code. This is one of the few instances when the connotation is usually positive. To crack the code means you have solved a riddle, figured out a message, or found the answer to a puzzle. (Have you heard the fascinating story from World War II around secret code and how the Allies were able to crack that code?)

What about cracked jars? Good or bad? It depends! Cracked jars are not able to hold water or other liquids. Perhaps you have heard the parable of the cracked pot? The pot with the crack compared itself to another pot with no crack and felt worthless until the owner showed it how the crack created something beautiful.

In 2 Corinthians, godly people are compared to jars of clay.
"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us," 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 NIV.
God knows that we are cracked pots! He understands our sinful human weaknesses. We may be ashamed to let people see our cracks—hurting families, addictions, sinful choices, broken marriages. But God redeems those cracks in us. Those cracks are intended to bring us to our knees, admitting we cannot do life without God. When we repent and ask for help, He takes those cracks and allows His glorious light to shine through. He fills us with His light and then His light glows through our cracks to illumine the darkness around us. Others with the same cracks we have will feel like we understand. As we allow God's light to change us and shine through us, we often have opportunities to share the good news of the Gospel with those around us, dispelling the darkness of sin.

Are cracks good or bad? What do you say?


  1. What an entertaining and fun post, Ruth! I have used broken china and other bits of glass and clay in making mosaics like the ones in your example. I used to do it regularly as a project with Art students Grade 9. All of your other examples are wonderful, too. It just goes to show that like most things, people bring their own connotations to any situation.

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed my post, Tracy :) It is interesting how we bring our own perspective to any situation. Something we need to keep in mind, especially when there is a difference of opinion :)

  3. Thanks for your perspective on cracked pots and, especially on being "a cracked pot,” which, it seems, many of us are. :-) God can use us not just in spite of our cracks, but because of our cracks. This statement of yours stands out for me: "He fills us with His light and then His light glows through our cracks to illumine the darkness around us.”

    I also appreciate your quote from C.S. Lewis, “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” May God give your many opportunities, Ruth, to share your wisdom, experience and faith with others. In doing so, may you be blessed.

    1. Sharon,
      Yes, I'm grateful that "God can use us not just in spite of our cracks, but because of our cracks.
      Thanks for your ongoing prayer, encouragement, and support. Blessings on you, Sharon!


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