Broken and Beautiful
Can something broken be beautiful? Kintsugi is the ancient Japanese art of repairing ceramics with a lacquer mixed with precious metal, usually gold. The word ‘kintsugi’ means ‘gold joinery’. This Japanese art values the marks of use or wear on objects. Instead of throwing out damaged bowls or vases, kintsugi artists highlight the cracks and scars as they repair them. When they finish, the objects are even more beautiful than before they were broken. God loves to do the same thing with our hearts. When we give all of our broken pieces to God, He can take our brokenness and make us more beautiful than we were before.
There are two basic reactions to being broken. The first is denial. We numb ourselves through busyness or addictions and tell ourselves we are fine. Let’s face it, it’s terrifying to face what we know we can not fix. So we choose to face only what we are able to fix or manage on our own. And whatever we can’t change, we justify and defend. Or, we over-obsess over our flaws and spend all of our energy trying to fix ourselves. 🙋♀️Don’t get me wrong, I believe we all need to do our inner ‘heart work’, but it needs to come from a place of compassion and self-acceptance rather than a drive to achieve perfection. Can we acknowledge our broken places without judging or trying to cover them up? Will we surrender our brokenness to God, one piece at a time?
Fixing Vs Filling
God is a healer, and He can still heal us today. But I’m starting to see that healing is not the same as fixing. And wholeness is not the same as perfection (Stop and read those two sentences again!). Many of my prayers consist of begging God to fix me. But God’s healing is more about filling than fixing me. If I could choose between the two, I’m afraid of what I would choose. The truth is, my concept of healing involves trying to get rid of my cracks and scars. But think about it: Jesus still has scars. In fact, it was his scars that made him real to Thomas. Wow. Stop and think about that for a moment. What does this say about God? I think it means God is more about connection than perfection.
Connection Not Perfection
We spend so much time, money and energy trying to deny or fix our scars and flaws. But what if there is a better way? Maybe beauty is not about perfection, but more about connection. God is a master at kintsugi, and in His hands we are all works of art. His love is the gold that heals our broken places and makes us beautiful.