Recently I learned about Kintsugi, the Japanese art of fixing pottery or ceramics with a lacquer containing gold, silver or platinum. The technique doesn’t hide the flaws, but makes them more visible and beautiful than before. In fact, the repaired product is considered more valuable than it was before it became broken.
Isn’t that amazing? Kintsugi had me thinking about how life has a way of breaking us at some point. Maybe the “crack” occurred during childhood or during adulthood. After it happens, we can heal fast and keep it moving and other times, we carry these cracks for a long time.
And those cracks hurt. Some times they are associated with shame and unworthiness. I know I wonder at times can people see my brokenness? Can they see that beyond this exterior that looks like she has it all together and figured out, really doesn’t? Then I think about my family, friends, and people I encounter on a daily basis. How many of them are walking around broken? Did that person who snapped at me have some underlying issues going on that had really nothing to do with me?
It can be hard to reveal our brokenness to others because we feel that we have to be perfect. That we can’t make mistakes. The perfectionist in me waits to jump on any error that I may make so it can beat me to a bloody pulp.
But, I can’t be perfect. I have made mistakes and I will continue to make mistakes. Certain things in my childhood and adulthood might have contributed to my brokenness, but it doesn’t make me any less valuable.
Slowly, but surely, I am learning to accept my flaws. But more importantly, I am learning how to give God those broken pieces of me so he can repair me in a way analogous to Kintsugi.
Slowly but surely, those broken pieces are being sealed together with a lacquer layered with grace. Grace doesn’t hide those broken pieces of me, but makes them more visible and beautiful than I was before I became broken. Instead of losing value, God’s grace has making me more valuable than I was before.
Kintsugi has reminded me about the importance of embracing my brokenness. It’s our history and those broken pieces that give us more compassion and love for others. We become stronger than we were before those breaks. Healing is a hard and at times, lengthy process but I am so thankful that God can give us beauty for ashes.
P.S. If you are interested in learning more about Kintsugi, check out this short video by “nerd writer”. (click here)