Kintsugi is a beautiful form of Japanese art. It is very counter cultural to our American sensitivities too.
In American culture we go to extreme lengths to cover our blemishes and brokenness. We are master make-up artists. We put on false exteriors and push down our wounds deep into the recesses of our soul. They are so deep that most will never know those wounds are there. Sometimes we don’t even know they are there ourselves.
Jesus compares the teachers of the law to white washed stones in Matthew 23:27. They are pristine on the outside–beautiful. But the inside is full of death and brokenness. So much of our time is spent covering our brokenness. We whitewash our lives so they look pristine to anyone who sees us. We hide our struggles because we have believed the lie that showing our wounds is weak. We have bought that culture’s version of beauty is the same as our creator’s definition. It. Is. Not! Christ tells us a different story. Life–the Jesus life–isn’t about never showing weakness or working to hide every crack in our image. The Jesus life is trusting that He holds us in our brokenness. He works with our wounds. Our pieces are placed back together by the creator of creativity. But the other truth is this: brokenness doesn’t heal alone. Isolated, your brokenness is the shattered shards of dreams and hopes and failures. In community, through faith and love, our brokenness becomes the masterpiece of God’s mosaic. And it is beautiful.
The Communal Triune God has come to create a Kingdom community among us. Faith is personal. It cannot be private. An individual christian is a contradiction. We are made whole together and together we are beautiful. This is what Kintsugi is about. Instead of throwing away the broken, it is the painstaking task of restoration. Instead of working hard to remove the evidence of the broken, the artist highlights the remnant fractures by infusing the glue with gold. The result is an unparalleled and unduplicatable work of art. It bears the artist’s touch, but also a devotion and tenderness. This is the work of Jesus on you. He is restoring you, not by removing every wound this life has carved into you. Instead, through Christ’s cross, the one who knit you together in the womb is gluing you back together. The gold is His glory and it highlights His handwork.
Like all good artists, the Lord has a studio where this work is played out. We are His studio. The body of Christ. The community. Luke 5 tells the story of a paralyzed man being healed by Jesus. Friends lowered the man through the roof of a house because they couldn’t get through the crowd. Verse 20 says, “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven.'” Those friends were the studio. It was their faith that moved Jesus. Faith is communal. Without others it is something less. The community is God’s mosaic.
Come. Be a part of what God is up to in His studio. I know it is risky, but lean into those wounds and watch The Artist make something beautiful for His grand mosaic.
photo credit: Broken Heart via photopin (license)
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