The Master was searching for a vessel to use;
Before Him were many; Which one would He choose?

“Take me,” cried the gold one, “I’m shiny and bright.
I’m of great value and I do things just right.
My beauty and luster will outshine the rest,
And for someone like you, Master, gold would be best.”

The Master passed on with no word at all,
And looked at a silver urn, narrow and tall.
”I’ll serve you, dear Master, I’ll pour out your wine
I’ll be on your table whenever you you dine.
My lines are so graceful, my carving so true,
And silver will always complement You.”

Unheeding, the Master passed on to the brass,
Wide-mouthed and shallow and polished like glass.
”Here! Here!” cried the vessel, “I know I will do,
Place me on your table for all men to view.”

“Look at me,” cried the goblet of crystal so clear,
”My transparency shows my contents so dear.
Though fragile, am I, I will serve you with pride,
And I’m sure I’ll be happy in your house to abide.”

The Master came next to a vessel of wood,
Polished and carved, it solidly stood.
”You may use me, dear Master,” the wooden bowl said,
”But I’d rather you used me for fruit, not for bread.”

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay,
Empty and broken it helplessly lay.
No hope had the vessel, that the Master might choose
To cleanse, and make whole, to fill, and to use.

“Ah! This is the vessel I’ve been hoping to find.
I’ll mend it and use it and make it all mine.
I need not the vessel with pride of itself,
Nor one that is narrow to sit on the shelf,
Nor one that displays its contents so proud
Nor the one that thinks he can do all things just right,
But this plain, earthen vessel, filled with power and might.”

Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay,
Mended and cleansed it, and filled it that day.
Spoke to it kindly — “There’s work you must do!
Just pour out to others, as I pour into you.”

–B.V. Cornwall