Finding Treasure in a Broken Vessel

I always wanted to be a Ming Vase for God.

Beautiful. Exotic. Perfect.


Wouldn’t that be a powerful witness to my great God?

Think of the people who would flock to faith once they experienced me in all my loveliness — always being, saying and doing the Right Thing!

        Alas, it was not to be. 

        No Ming vases here. I saw in the mirror a clay pot — the gal next door. Instead of perfection, my demeanor instead displyed limps, bruises, and cracks.

Finally, I was where God wanted me to be.


Now He could pour His light and treasure into my simple vessel and thus it would be noticed for what it was. God’s power. God’s glory. God’s beauty. Manifested from the center of an ordinary life.

“If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us.” 2 Corinthians 4.7 

Once a radio host, Lynne, was interviewing me live about my one-word-a-day devotional, “Dwelling Places,” and shared the words that had most ministered to her. One was the word “return,” about returning to the Lord and what that can mean in our lives. Lynne said that just after she read those two pages, she encountered a prodigal — a woman who insisted she was now closer to the devil than to God. Since Lynne had just read all those words of hope and grace and mercy that Jesus extends to the wanderer, she passed along what she had learned. 

        “May I read your closing benediction from that day – ‘return’ — on the air right now?” she asked.

My child, you need wander no more. As the days lengthen, so will be the process of coming closer to Me. Just take it a day at a time. Study My words. Soon you will find them to be life-giving sustenance for all that is ahead of you. You’ve done the hardest part already – returning. Let’s journey forward together.

– Lucinda Secrest McDowell “Dwelling Places”

        As I listened to words I had written I began to weep quietly. Live and on air.

        I was so deeply aware that God was the one who had put those words in me to share with others. He is the “hidden treasure” inside this ordinary person. And because I allowed Him to use me, He was glorified and perhaps a broken soul was encouraged.

         How easily we break! How utterly chipped and cracked, faded and fragile we are — particularly after a lifetime of pouring out. Sometimes we wonder if we are too damaged to be used, too weak to fight the battles. However, I have discovered that the more holes in our armor, the brighter our light shines from within.  

“If we are qualified, we tend to think we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’ work with our own or God’s glory with our own.”

Madeleine L’Engle

        When you and I finally meet face-to-face — and I sincerely hope we will one day — you will see an older woman with laugh lines, jiggly bits, and more bling than is advisable for someone living in New England. A woman who fails daily, but finally has enough sense to confess and receive forgiveness, tentatively moving forward in my favorite cowboy boots.

Actually, you might not even notice me. Well, except for the light.

I sure hope on the day we meet, a glow just happens to be peeking through from where my heavenly Father dwells deep inside. Then you will know the truth about me:

        That it really is All About Him.

         May the grace of Christ, the love of God, and the friendship of the Holy Spirit  bring you comfort and strength, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity and Strength”

©2022 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 15 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” and “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most.” She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words weekly at

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I would love to see you on Saturday April 30 in Manhasset for a 💐FREE 9-12 Retreat where I speak twice on “Your One Wild and Precious Life!”
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  1. Lisa Larsen Hill on May 6, 2022 at 2:36 pm

    This is beautiful Lucinda. I am writing my first blog for my new website and looked here for inspiration, richly received.
    Thank you for posting this!

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