The Leaky Bucket

Once upon a time in Israel, there was an old Jewish man who drew water from the well and carried it back to the temple everyday. The young monk carried two buckets of water slung on a bamboo pole across his shoulders.

One of the buckets was perfect while the other one was a leaky bucket with several holes on the sides. Every time the Jewish man filled up the two buckets and got back to the temple, the leaky bucket would be half empty as water sprinkled out through the holes on its sides.

The leaky bucket was sad that it was imperfect and water was leaking from its sides. One day, on the way to the well, the leaky bucket plucked up enough courage and spoke with the Jewish man with an apologetic tone:

“Sir, I am sorry that I am imperfect and could not keep the water from sprinkling through the holes on my sides.”

The Jewish man smiled slightly and nodded his head knowingly, and silently in acknowledgement.

When at the well, the young monk drew the water and filled up the two buckets as usual.

On the way back to the temple, the Jewish man said to the leaky bucket, who was very quiet.

“Look to the side of the road where the perfect bucket passed over. It is barren. Not even a blade of grass grows here.”

Pointing to the blooming flowers on the other side of the road, the young monk said to the leaky bucket.

“See these beautiful flowers? These are here only because of the water you sprinkled on them everyday. They owe their existence to you, and we are able to enjoy these beautiful flowers, only because of you. Your imperfection has brought benefits to people around you.”


The water in the pail reminds me of our gifts and we are like the leaky bucket. All of us are imperfect and all of us have gifts – gifts that will bring value and benefits to others when put to good use.

Our imperfections are the channels that allow our gifts to flow to where it is most useful.

Embrace our imperfections and find ways to combine it with our gifts to create value and benefits for others.

And now the same story in different words…

Lesson: We all have hidden values we are not aware about.

There were two buckets in the shed, one new and shiny, one old and rusty and with a hole.

Rusty said: “Shiny, I want to die. Look at you how perfect you are, I envy you. You are shiny, and you can fulfill your task, while I am worthless, water keeps leaking out of me, I am ugly, and useless. I don’t even know why the old lady keeps me around. When she brings us back from the well, you are always full, and she takes you into the house. I never was in the house, because I am always half empty, my water always goes to the animals.

Shiny replied:” You envy me? Curious. I always envied you. When we come back from the well, and I look at all those flowers on your side of the road, I wish I had a hole too, to water the flowers on my side of the road. I may go into the house, but you get to see the stars at night.”

Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Father’s table. In Gods great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don’t be afraid of your flaws.


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