A Cracked Claddagh


Before I went on my trip to Ireland, I knew the one thing that I wanted to bring back with me was a Claddagh Ring. I have always loved the Claddagh, or the emblem of the two hands holding a crowned heart. Upon past reading, I had discovered that it traditionally stands for love (the heart), friendship (the hands), and loyalty (the crown).

While visiting the Cliffs of Moher, we went inside this small store, and there they were: sterling silver Claddagh rings. Now, I have pretty big fingers, so finding a ring that fits comfortably is pretty difficult…especially overseas. The charming gentlemen picked out the biggest one, handed it over, and it fit perfectly. Of course, I wasted no time in making this ring my own and have worn it every day since.

Three days after arriving home, I was reading on a cement stairwell. Not paying attention, my right hand scraped the cement harder than expected, and I heard the terrible sound of scratching metal. “Oh no!” I thought. “I know I did not just mess up my ring!” I jerked my hand up to my eyes and sure enough, there was a small crack in the heart of my Claddagh.

My initial reaction to this was frustration. I had just gotten this ring and had scratched it. What in the world?! But then, a quiet voice from within came on the scene. “It is more true to life now.”

Gotta love that Holy Spirit who brings forth truth that packs a wallop while somehow also bringing peace to the soul…

I know I am not alone in saying that my heart is cracked. If you could see it, it would be covered with scars. Cuts. Bruises. Burns. Dents. My heart has been mishandled. My heart has been mistreated. My heart has been let down.

And sometimes, on very bad days, I think that those cracks define me. I believe the lie that my heart is somehow less worthy because of all those scars. How limited! How truly small minded of me to think that a broken heart can stand in the way of a limitless, all-powerful, “I AM” God!

My heart is still beautiful. My heart still has value. My heart is still capable of doing any and everything that God calls me to…because He says so. And like I still wouldn’t trade my Claddagh ring (and all the stories and memories it reminds me of) for anything…He sees me (cuts, cracks, and all) and still finds me indispensable.


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