All these pieces, broken and scattered
In mercy gathered, mended and whole
A Japanese practice exists where broken pottery is mended using lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. The result of the repair highlights where the pieces were rejoined together and appear to be held in place by pure gold. In a way, the breakage enhanced the beauty of the original pottery piece. This Japanese practice is called kintsugi.
Kintsugi 金継ぎ translated literally means “to repair with gold”. It’s also called as the “art of repairing broken things.” Widely believed to have originated in the late 15th century, the philosophy behind the technique is embracing the flawed or imperfect. By using lacquer infused with powdered precious metals, the repair done to the damage is emphasized rather than disguising or concealing it.
“Not only is there no attempt to hide the damage, but the repair is literally illuminated…” – Christy Bartlett, Flickwerk: The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics
This recognizes the flaw as part of the object’s history. Instead of seeing it as a rendering of uselessness, the flaw adds to the objects value and beauty. It adds meaning.
“…highlighting the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage.” – Kwan, Pui Ying. “Exploring Japanese Art and Aesthetic as inspiration for emotionally durable design”
In the same way, we who have experienced brokenness are like pottery and ceramics that underwent kintsugi. We have failures, we have downfalls, we have missteps. We tend to see ourselves as worthless, useless, and disposable. Yet through God’s mercy and grace, we are made new.
He allows trials and pains to afflict us, not to punish us, but to refine our faith in Him. The grace and the love that He pours on us is the gold that mends us together. It is through our brokenness that God is seen, His love shines through.
Let our brokenness not be seen as our end of the line. Let it be seen as opportunities to let God freely work in us and on us. We are made more precious in our surrender. We are made more beautiful as we lay down our hurts to Him.
This is what is so amazing about grace. God overlooks our failures and our wretchedness and freely gives His love. All we need is to accept it. See ourselves through His eyes. We did not choose Him, in the first place. He chose us. Why? Love.
Run to Him for He will not jeer at our weaknesses. Run to Him and know love.
“And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.'”