Kintsugi—Broken, but Better


Kintsugi (or kintsukuroi) is a Japanese method for repairing broken ceramics with a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. The philosophy behind the technique is to recognize the history of the object and to visibly incorporate the repair into the new piece instead of disguising it. The process usually results in something more beautiful than the original.

As a philosophy, kintsugi can be seen to have similarities to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect.  The Japanese people value the marks of wear by the use of an object.  This can be seen as a rationale for keeping an object around even after it has been broken, highlighting the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object, rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage.  The broken object, after the repair, is more valuable than before!

Are you broken? Do you feel chipped, damaged, unable to be of service to others because you’re flawed?  Has grief caused this painful breakage of your heart? I know my heart broke when our son died.  I know it will never be the same.  BUT, and this is a BIG BUT, God is slowly, day-by-day, placing a touch of gold on the broken chips and cracks of my heart.  Somehow He wants to help that damaged heart  go through a process that will result in something more beautiful.

The Golden Repair

Through the many hours, days, months, and now almost 3 years of heartbreak, I’ve watched how God nas tenderly held me, given me strength, and placed some gold on a few of the cracks to help me heal.

Five Golden Gems from the Chips in My Life

  1. These storms in my life are not forever storms.

The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18:  “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” The pain of loss sometimes clouds my “long-distance-vision”.  Even though I feel that there may be no way out of the muck, the Lord promises in His Word that this is really only temporary, and that eternity awaits.  So fixing my faith eyes on what lasts forever helps me.

     2.  Circumstances may change, people may let you down, but God is always the same.

In Hebrews 13:8 we read, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  Just when I think everything is going ok, life is pretty stable, that’s when the storms hit.  But God is solid, more firm than the huge boulders of the Rocky Mountains.

     3.  There are treasures in the rubble.

Through my personal challenges, gems have emerged: a more compassionate heart for others who have their own challenges, a capacity to now listen fully when someone tells their story, and a trust in my Lord that He is in control and I am not!  I now value more than ever the lives that God has placed in my life, those precious family members, and those friends that I love dearly.  I look at the world with different eyes now: the delicate beauty of the first crocus blooming in the spring, the lilting sound of the red wing blackbirds on the lake behind our house, the laughter of a little child, and the look of love in the eyes of a very dear friend.

     4.  I can choose to be bitter or better.

In Sarah Young’s devotional book, Jesus Calling, she writes Jesus’ words to us:  ” I (Jesus) am able to do far beyond all that you ask or imagine. Come to Me with positive expectations, knowing that there is no limit to what I can accomplish.  Do not be discouraged by the fact that many of your prayers are yet unanswered.  Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark.  The more extreme your circumstances, the more likely you are to see MY POWER AND GLORY at work in the situation.  Instead of letting difficulties draw you into worrying, try to view them as setting the scene for My glorious intervention.  Keep your eyes and your mind wide open to all that I am doing in your life.”  (Based on Ephesians 3:20-21; Romans 8:6; Isaiah 40:30-31; Revelation 5:13)

     5.  The energy that consumed my grieving for what was lost can be turned to a positive action, fulfilling His purpose for      my life.

At first my cup of grief when Tim died was overflowing with bitter tears, extreme heartache, and pain-filled sorrow.  “What can I do with all this anguish?”  I pleaded with God.  His answer seemed to be, “Turn it into good, with My help, in My time.”  The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry became an outlet for me to help give others that are hurting some comfort and compassion. Visit the Comfort Dog website to learn more. or find out more about Cubby Comfort Dog on her face book page or in the Resources page of my blog site.

The above golden gems are excerpts from my book Voice of Suicide, Voice of Hope, which will be coming soon!










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