There is this wonderful Japanese art, called "Kintsugi", which is the art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or other precious metals.
I came across this term the other day from an interview with Chris Martin, the front man of the band, Coldplay. He was explaining the lyrics of a song from the album Ghost Stories. The whole album is about repair and regeneration, after going through the pains of life. Chris Martin finished completing that album, after consciously parting ways with his wife of ten years, Gwyneth Paltrow. You can already assume what the album is about. I think its the most under appreciated and under valued album from their entire discography, and I hope anyone reading this, goes and gives it a listen because its so deep and so good. *Be warned, you will need a tissue box or two*.
Nonetheless, I did not begin this journey with Coldplay, but with this alluring paradox of being Beautifully Broken. The literal translation of the Japanese word, "Kintsugi" (金継ぎ) is golden repair. The reparation of what was once whole and uniform, now broken yet beautiful. This art form is taken all the way back to the 15th century, when a Japanese shogun broke his favourite tea cup and sent it to China to get it repaired, and over time, the persistence of the shogun about repairing his tea cup paid off and the shop used expensive resins and lacquer to mend the cup. After returning the cup, the shogun was fascinated at the cup and how beautiful it was with the cracks and pieces, filled up together to reform his cup. And so began the art of Kintsugi.
There's so many beautiful messages out of that display of appreciation! Isn't there? JUST THINK FOR A SECOND WITH ME.
- In a society of consumerism and throwing away what is garbage, this art teaches not throw away broken things.
- When an object breaks, it does not mean that its not useful anymore. You want to know why we're having landfill overflows, and global dumpsites, at an all-time high? Because we throw things at the first sight of it not working it, and replace it. Meanwhile, the breakages can become valuable.
- We should try to repair things because sometimes in doing so, we obtain more valuable objects. You know why marriages are failing and divorce rates are at its highest? Because no one wants to work it out. No one wants to remain, faithful and loyal.
You know what?
Jesus. He was broken for us...
He was broken for YOU and for ME. And He was and is Perfect. He is Perfection, and yet..
HE. WAS. BROKEN.
"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." — Isaiah 53:5
His perfect vessel, carrying the immaculate Son of the Triune God, was broken for us at the cross. But he rose from the dead, with the most precious scars any man could bear on his body.
You see, the more broken you are, the more beautiful you are. Because He has so much more to put back together. It doesn't matter though, how many scars you carry, we all have some. Some more than others, we are all unique, and yet we are all able to be put back together. And OH how painful the process is of being Beautifully Broken, but OH how sweet and precious are the hands that mend them all back together. You see, we thought we had value and worth before Jesus. But we were nothing.
"He gave us value, he gave us worth, through Himself."
But He gave us value, He gave us worth, through Himself. Through the hands of the Precious Potter. And now we don't have to live wasteful lives, but lives that are so gently and tenderly going through the crashes and shatters of life. And yes, we are broken people. Failed adoptions, wreckless, divorced, murderers, liars, thieves, adulterers, haters, slanderers, idolaters, drunkards, families falling apart, poor, abandoned, selfish, abused, accused, you name it, we're all broken and in need of repair.
And there is only ONE person in the entire existence of the universe who has the authority to come and say "I can fix you." And His name is Jesus.
Would you embrace being beautifully broken? Would you humble yourself and accept that you need a Saviour to come into your life and, start putting back every piece thats been shattered on the floor, and scattered in a million places? Trust me, He's doing it in my life.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me.
I was once was lost, but now I'm found
was blind but now I see.