When I was a little girl I remember a collection of small porcelain cats my grandmother had. She displayed them in a curio cabinet that had a special place in the living room. If I was very, very lucky, she would let me take one down to hold gently, but we always placed it carefully up on the shelf with full supervision. The porcelain was delicate and I’m sure Granny didn’t want the statuette broken or chipped.

Later as I grew older, I began to notice that a lot of the friends I would go hang out with after school had china cabinets in their dining rooms. The china cabinets displayed the pretty, unchipped or broken plates in the display case. It just kind of sunk in that no one wants to put chipped or broken china or porcelain pieces on display. That’s just not done, right?

Yet as even more years have passed and certain favorite pieces of my own have begun to show a little wear, I feel sad about putting them under the china case and behind the closed doors of the cabinet. I wish they were unbroken again or looked brand new.

I remember thinking that I had to be shiny and unchipped and unbroken for God to display the glory of the Lord in me. I’m glad that I have come to a point where I realize that it’s because of my chips and broken places that God’s glory can been seen brightly in my life! What Paul said in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 makes a lot more sense to me now as I look back through life’s ups and downs: “He said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

My Granny passed away a few years ago and my aunt sent me a pair of those porcelain cats. I was touched to see that one of the cat’s ears were both chipped around the edges. Kind of gave it character. And they are displayed proudly in my china cabinet and in the heart of the child who remembers her Granny’s hands carefully helping her hold the kitty very gently.

How much energy do you put into hiding the chips in your life or the worn edges?

Why do you think we are so quick to hide the broken places in our lives?

What would have to happen for you to be able to speak about this issue like Paul did?