“But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way but not crushed, perplexed but not driven to despair, persecuted but not forsaken, struck down but not destroyed” – 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
Written by Rev. Brandon Durán
September 21st is the birthday of singer-song writer Leonard Cohen. Cohen is likely most famous for his song “Hallelujah” which has been covered by nearly 200 other singers in multiple languages. Around the time that “Hallelujah” was released, Cohen was working on another song, “Anthem.” According to Cohen, “Anthem” took nearly a decade to write. While the song is a favorite to many, there is a line from Anthem that is universally loved.
Ring the bell which still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in
This verse always reminds me of the passage in 2 Corinthians referenced above. In Paul’s letter, I heard a belief that within each of us is a tremendous gift. I envision a radiating light of power and beauty. The challenges and trials we face create the cracks that allow the light to pour out of us and bless others.
In Cohen’s song, I envision the individual as the same earthen vessel. The trials and tribulations of life create cracks yet now the flow is reversed. It is through those openings that a healing and inspiring light is allowed to come in.
Sometimes I need to let the light in. I need the shadows in my heart to be banished. I need the reassurance of grace.
Sometimes I need to share faults and own my mistakes. In revealing our struggles we let others know they are not alone in their struggles. We give permission to be vulnerable. And in those moments, grace shines brightest.
Whichever way you look at it, it is cracks or the imperfections that allow grace to flow.