Broken Vessels

There was a bowl I always remember my mom using to make Hollandaise sauce when I was little.

Originally, I imagine that red Pyrex was part of a complete set from the 1960s when my parents were married. But over the years, things happened and “Red” ended up as the last of the bowls, each of the rest broken under certain circumstances and stresses to tempered glass.

Placing the red Pyrex over top of a saucepan filled with boiling water, my mom would begin to melt sticks of butter over the double boiler. Tap*Tap*Crack! she would separate the eggs, white from yellow; into the bowl would go egg yolks. Whisk these super-fast before they got too warm and curdled, otherwise you would have something like butter-soaked scrambled eggs.

At the critical point, when Mom would decide the consistency was JUST right, off the heat the entire pan would come. Fresh lemon juice–don’t drop the seeds in!–would finish this beautiful sauce. As kids, we used to called it “Holiday Sauce” since our tongues rarely tasted this heavenly concoction! It was usually only on very special occasions or holidays, and would always be warm and creamy, dripping over steamed broccoli.

Goodness, how many memories were made together, my mom, my sister, and me, with that faithful bowl.

Until the day it broke. Making Hollandaise sauce was never the same after that.

Sometimes life is like that, happy memories and then


something breaks and everything changes.


Maybe it’s an illness,

a divorce,


a job loss,


an accident,


an abuse,


an addiction,


an affair,

a death of a loved one,


a tragedy.

Then the perfectly matched, perfectly designed set begins to break apart. Where once it was complete, each bowl nestled compactly one inside the other, you see scratches and chips and finally brokenness, one by one, smashed and shattered, until there’s nothing left. And, like the red Hollandaise bowl, when the final one is broken, everything changes.

Jesus was like that.

Part of a complete set in heaven: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Then part of a complete set on earth: Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus.

He had to break away from heaven to come here to earth. Why? For the purpose of being broken HERE so that we could have a place in heaven. How’s that for irony? Both times, nothing was ever the same again; He changed everything!

Jesus does this in order to bring us back to a place where we are all part of a complete set, nestled in, designed to fit as a whole set together. Jesus wants to bring us all home to heaven, where everything fits “just so.”

(To read more about the Final Assembly, click here.)

When my friend, Jeremiah, posted he was selling this set of bowls, my heart leapt seeing that red bowl. I have purchased one like the big yellow one, but I have never encountered a full set like this! I have certainly never seen a red Hollandaise bowl. When I gave him the money, I got tearful and only then realized how much it meant to me to see a complete set perfectly fit together.

Has your life, like mine, had too many Broken Vessels–matched sets that have been broken apart?

Can you feel me here?

We want what should have been, before the destruction, before The Fall. We want to go back to Eden: pre-fruit; pre-serpent; pre-sin. We can’t.

But take heart!

If we have an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, we’re going someplace better, more beautiful and wonderful than we can imagine. Remember Our Confession, Our Baptism, by His Blood and with His Spirit? We can know one day we will be with The One True God, complete and perfect and whole.


My son, after reading this post, asked why I have never made Hollandaise sauce for our family, a legit question.

I answered that now I have an Hollandaise sauce bowl, don’t be surprised if you see it dripping down the broccoli soon!

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