I had no idea what kintsugi was when I came across the word in a blog post I was reading. By the time I finished the post I was sold on the value of kintsugi. In fact, I realized it’s a concept that’s at the very heart of my faith in God!
Kintsugi is the repairing of broken pottery instead of throwing it away. The breakage and the repair of the pottery is viewed as part of its history. I like the idea of kintsugi! Instead of being tossed out the broken pottery is repaired and remains useful as well as possessing a new kind of beauty, with its jagged lines of repair.
The expression of kintsugi goes way beyond pottery, of course; it’s seen as a philosophy of life. But it’s even more than a philosophy; it’s the heart of the message of the Bible. Redeeming a broken piece of pottery is nothing compared to redeeming broken human beings, the theme of the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, and the essence of the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.
During my nearly four decades of preaching I frequently talked of Jesus being broken on the cross, broken unto death, and then raised to new life. I also reminded folks that in Heaven Jesus will forever display the nail scars in His hands and feet and the spear scar in His side as reminders of what He did for us. No other scars will be seen in heaven, but His will. Back then I didn’t know about kintsugi, but Jesus’ crucifixion scars are the ultimate and eternal expression of kintsugi!
God’s ultimate expression of the art of kintsugi in Jesus is not just the reminder of what He did on a cross centuries ago and the hope of seeing this ultimate expression of kintsugi when we see Him in heaven; kintsugi is also for the here and now! Even now, while we yet remain earthbound, God is able and willing to take our brokenness, whatever it might be, and do some good with it, a lot of good with it!
What’s broken in your life and mine? Faith in God means believing He can work His kintsugi on us, that He can make something beautiful and something useful out of our brokenness!
“Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.” (Psalm 80:3 and repeated in verses 7 & 19)
Photo is of kintsugi pieces for sale at THIS web site for $20 (if I’m going to use the photo I thought it only fair to provide the link where they’re selling the pieces)