Beauty in brokenness — an oxymoron | Avalon Church

Beauty in brokenness.

Seems like an inconsistent phrase, doesn’t it? After all, when something is broken, doesn’t it go from useful to useless, from displayed to the dumpster, from treasured to trash? Who ever gets excited at a yard sale to find a box with a broken vase inside? No one, right? Well, almost no one.

I was reading an article by Joni Eareckson Tada in the Fall 2017 edition of “Just Between Us: Encouraging and Equipping Women for a Life of Faith” (pastors read all kinds of things you never knew we did). In the article, Joni (who has been a quadriplegic most of her life) shared about her husband, Ken, who is third-generation Japanese born in America, telling her about the art of kintsugi.

Kintsugi is Japanese for “golden joinery” or ‘golden repair.” It is the art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered goldsilver, or platinum. As the broken pieces are assembled, the art is not in hiding the cracks and lines but in highlighting them with a shiny gold bonding agent. The irregular crack lines, now accented in gold or silver, give the ceramic pottery an elegant, even stunning look.

Kintsugi treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. These works of art reveal the compassion and vision of the artist, who sees beauty in chaos and elevates the value of an object by their skillful touch.

God does kintsugi on His people all the time. I talk and pray with so many people who honestly believe their lives are so broken that they are useless and bound for the dumpster. Even the encouragement that “God heals the brokenhearted” is little consolation; it often feels true that even if God does put the pieces back together, they will still be relegated to the back shelf.

Joni shares: “Rather than conceal the damage done, God accentuates the gold of His grace through the broken pieces of your life. It’s a way of highlighting His glorious handiwork in you, so that people can’t help but admire the elegance of His grace in your life.”

Trust the Lord with your broken pieces. In His hands, you will find yourself in the display case, a stunning work bringing glory to God!

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Pastor Jim

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