Kintsugi (or kintsukuroi) is a Japanese method for repairing broken ceramics with a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. The philosophy behind the technique is to recognize the history of the object and to visibly incorporate the repair into the new piece instead of disguising it. The process usually results in something more beautiful than the original.
Romans 8:29-30 (MSG) 29-30 God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.
God also makes what we think is broken or a mistake, beautiful. He takes what is broken in us, what we see as mistakes, as shameful, and as ugly, and gives it beauty and purpose. When we allow Him to mend it, to work His miracles and to use it, He uses it for showing off His glory. There are many things which I thought were ugly mars in my life, that made me feel broken and worthless. Most of my life I couldn’t see past the damage, and love myself in spite of it. I couldn’t see that I was lovable or worth loving. God, though, saw me and chose to love me, He thought I was lovable, He took all that I gave Him, every broken piece of me of my life and turned it all around, 180 degrees, and made those the things, ways that He could use to reach those who would have been hard to reach had I not had that brokenness. People open up a whole lot more when they find someone who gets it, gets them. People feel safe when opening up with someone who understands and so God reaches into them through our brokenness. God is amazing! He is a Kintsugi artist, working with real human brokenness. He repairs using His own glory, His light, His power. We shine because of it if we accept it.
We are mended as we let go and let God. Anger and bitterness at life and those circumstances or people, that hurt us, broke us, gave us pain becomes ugly and raw if left in need of repair. If we try to repair the damage on our own, it will emphasize the ugliness. The Kintsugi process was created because normally when someone tried to repair a precious piece of pottery it would always look worse, it was no longer precious, and often was discarded. Someone at sometime, saw the object they were repairing as valuable, worth saving and because of that wanted to enhance the beauty of the original unbroken piece. The gold in the cracks enhances the pottery. God’s power and glory shining through our cracks does the same thing to a greater level. He enhances our beauty with His “gold”. When we crack through the stress of life or someone’s carelessness, count it as gold, learn to go to God with your pain quickly. Don’t allow yourself to stew in anger or bitterness, because then all you are is broken pieces. A mess scattered all over the floor.
When we are broken and scattered we leave shards all over the place that hurt others. Our tongues or words, our actions or our in actions, cause pain to others if we are not careful and done in anger or bitterness. They cause distance between us and others, they cause protective barriers to go up. There is never the freedom to be ourselves when someone is broken and like a thousand shards of glass, when they leave, ignore it or try to fix themselves. To fix yourself causes more damage to be done. You cannot do it on your own. I tried and I failed. My life is better because I gave up trying to fix it myself, and gave it all to God. When I let go of my pain, God set right out to mend me, mend my soul. I don’t know why II waited so long, but I am grateful that He saw that I was worth fixing. 🙂
Be careful of the broken places in your life, be careful to pick them all up and give them to God. Don’t throw them out, give them to The One who will put them back together, The One who will add His beauty to the broken pieces, The One who will shine His glory through you. We become Kintsugi as we allow God to pieces us back together. We become beautiful, and our brokenness becomes a beautiful story of God’s greatness.
“Mended” by Matthew West When you see broken beyond repair
I see healing beyond belief
When you see too far gone
I see one step away from home
How many times can one heart break?
It was never supposed to be this way
Look in the mirror, but you find someone you never thought you’d be
Oh, but I can still recognize
The one I love in your tear stained eyes
I know you might not see him now, so lift your eyes to me
(chorus) When you see broken beyond repair
I see healing beyond belief
When you see too far gone
I see one step away from home When you see nothing but damaged goods
I see something good in the making
I’m not finished yet
When you see wounded, I see mended
You see your worst mistake
But I see the price I paid
And there’s nothing you could ever do, to lose what grace has won
So hold on, it’s not the end
No, this is where love’s work begins
I’m making all things new
And I will make a miracle of you
I see my child, my beloved
The new creation you’re becoming
You see the scars from when you fell
But I see the stories they will tell
You see worthless, I see priceless
You see pain, but I see a purpose
You see unworthy, undeserving
But I see you through eyes of mercy