Kintsugi is the Japanese art of filling in the cracks in pottery with a resin combined with powdered gold, silver, or other metals. The broken pottery is not considered useless, but instead the marring reflects a life of beauty through brokenness.
Most of us in America see brokenness – weakness – as a thing to be avoided. A broken vessel is one that should be tossed away and replaced with something newer, more exciting, more useful. If we don’t like something, if we don’t value it as useful for this current season, we replace it. Churches now cater to the young, the old, the middle aged, the professional, the student, etc. We change our programs, our worship, our times, our names, our image … to be “relevant” to our time and community.
Although I think we need to be culturally sensitive and open to meeting the needs of the community and people we serve, we have attempted to replace the gold filled cracks of brokenness with plastic models of your best life now. In this age of technology where expensive cell phones and devices are replaced every year for bigger and better, we are replacing the age old tradition of a community filled with differences to a homogeneous version of look alikes. We no longer think in terms of “if it is broken it needs to be fixed,” but “if it is broken it needs to be thrown away.” Cracks are ugly. They reveal that everyone and everything eventually ends up damaged, broken, or in total disrepair. We are born that way. Broken vessels needing gold filling.
And yet, the broken vessel is the thing that reflects the most beauty. A community of differences doesn’t reflect the need to be replaced, but the blending of the old and the new, the traditional with the modern, and the wise with the passionate. It is a transition from the known to the unknown, from the untarnished to the tried and true. The Lord of change refines and fills the cracks with his purposes as we yield to the kind of love the Father has towards us – to our uniqueness. We learn to love with Kingdom love. We see beauty instead of brokenness and unity where there used to be divisions. Only then can we be children of God and be known by our love.
“See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.” I John 1
Lord, please fill our cracks with your gold that we may be more beautiful to you and to those who need to see how perfectly you form and fix us.