by Christine Sine
A couple of weeks ago I broke my favourite mug. When I posted a photo of its sad state on Facebook, several people suggested I try mending it by using the Japanese art of Kintsugi, the 15th-Century practice meaning “to join with gold”. I discovered Kintsugi, the art of mending broken pottery with lacquer resin sprinkled with powdered gold, or silver or platinum, several years ago, long before I started to experiment with creative ways to express my spirituality, but never tried it, probably because it seemed too messy and I was afraid of ending up with a new object that was far from perfect.
I knew that my mug has too many broken pieces for a beginner like me so I decided to start with this broken flower pot, which only had one break, instead. After all how hard could it be to mend a single break like this?
Well as you can imagine it was much harder than I expected, and the resulting pot and its mend looks very messy. I think I added too much hardener to the resin. Nothing like the beautiful teapot in the photo at the top of the article. However, it was fun and quite therapeutic and definitely made me feel I wanted to give it another go, maybe with something smaller until I get the technique figured out. After all, mending the broken pieces of our lives is often very messy too and usually takes more than one attempt. Even then it is just as likely to end up with messy results as it is with beautiful ones.
Knowing that imperfect objects can be remade into something more beautiful than the original gives me hope that that the imperfections in my life can be mended to make me into a more beautiful vessel than I was before. “Whether you’re going through the loss of a loved one or a job, or are recovering from an injury, divorce or other personal tragedy, Kintsugi can be a way to reframe hardships to remind yourself that you’re not a victim of your circumstances — and to help you come out the other side stronger.” says Candice Kumai in her book Kintsugi Wellness: The Japanese art of Nourishing Mind, Body and Spirit
None of us are without flaws yet God is able to mend and make all of us whole. And when God mends it is like pure gold has been added to our lives. There is beauty hidden in the brokenness all of us struggle with. God does not discard us because we are broken. Our remade selves are grounded in the transformation of our brokenness.
What is your response?
Watch the video below about the art of Kintsugi. What comes to your mind as you listen to this craftsman talk about his art? What areas in your life have already been mended with gold? What is the new beauty that has been formed in the mending? Write these down and spend time thanking God not just for the mending but for the brokenness that made possible new areas of beauty in your life.
Now read Colossians 1:15-20 from The Message
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
Now listen to this video
What is one broken or dislocated part of your life in which you still long to see transformation and wholeness? Name it and lift it up before God in prayer. Ask God to act as the master craftsman mending and making whole your brokenness. Now sit in silence allowing God to speak to you. Is there a pathway to healing that God is revealing to you? What action steps might be necessary to find the wholeness and the beauty God intends for you?