A few weeks ago, my husband shared a youthwork article with me that he thought I would enjoy. In it, there was a mention of a Japanese artform I had not come across before that intrigued me called kintsugi. I researched and read a little more, and it completely captivated me. Kintsugi is possibly the most beautiful creative art I have ever come across, not simply because it is the art of fixing what is broken. No, it has an even greater aim:
Kintsugi fixes what is broken using the most expensive and precious materials in a way that makes it even more beautiful.
As a Christian, and as a parent in particular, I find this incredibly moving and inspiring. Because this art, this talent, it has another name:
Grace doesn’t just cover up the cracks, the breaks, the chips. Grace transforms those imperfections into something even more beautiful.
When I break, when I lose my temper and shout at my children, when I fall down over and over and feeling like there’s barely anything left holding me together, grace restores and renews me. When my children hit and push and it feels like there is a break in our relationship, or in their friendship, grace turns the conflict into a chance to learn, grow and forgive.
Kintsugi to me, is a divine art form. Because it reflects the beautiful plan of God: to not just fix what is broken, but to make it fresh, new, and even more beautiful. To not just try and cover up the cracks, but to make them stand out in such a way that they make the whole better, they make it new, changed, and more full, with a story, a testimony.
When you have had a bad day, when it feels like you have been broken and chipped and worn down, and you start to shout to God of the unfairness and wonder why He allows you to get so hurt, remember that in order for kintsugi to make something even more beautiful than before, it has to first be broken. It has to be crushed and cracked before it can be rebuilt stronger, better, more beautiful. And best of all, it is the very cracks that make it beautiful. They are celebrated by using the most precious of materials, lavish gold and silver, to piece back together what is broken.
Turn to Him who waits to patiently, painstakingly, lovingly rebuild, renew and make even more beautiful. The One who pours out His grace in the most excellent art of kintsugi: fixing what is broken, and making it better.
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:10