I know, I know – the title is pretty heavy and unconventional. I promise you, though, it’s not what you probably think.
We’re all a little broken. Some of our cracks might be bigger than others; but, personally, I think it’s the cracks and imperfections that make us more beautiful.
The Art of Kintsukuroi
Kintsukuroi, is the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery. Rather than rejoin ceramic pieces with a camouflaged adhesive, the Kintsukuroi technique employs a special tree sap lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Once completed, beautiful seams of gold glint in the conspicuous cracks of ceramic wares, giving a one-of-a-kind appearance to each “repaired” piece.
This unique method celebrates each artifact’s history by emphasizing its fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them. In fact, Kintsukuroi often makes the repaired piece even more beautiful than the original, revitalizing it with a new look and giving it a second life.
Rare Things Hold Incredible Value
The result of Kintsukuroi is a rare piece that is unique in design and cannot be replicated. It is put through a process. A remaking. Similarly, is the production of a diamond. You see, in the beginning, a diamond is merely carbon, but is also known as the hardest mineral on earth. However, like all things, a process is attached to determine the beautiful outcome. When the diamond goes through the process of extreme temperatures, diligent mining, precise cutting, and then firm polishing, it becomes the most precious and sought-after gemstone in the all the world. It’s beauty and value far exceed its originality before the process it had to endure to become what it is the day that it is placed in that display case. It has a remarkable story to tell. Its journey is breathtaking.
That Diamond is a Lot Like Us
There may have been a time where you didn’t feel like you were much of anything. Unnoticed by the crowd, if you had to place all your chips on one determination you could have sworn you were invisible to everyone around you. The world hardened your heart, and your hope for a future was bleak. There may have been a time where your heart was broken, your health was threatened, your finances were slim, your loved ones were hurting, or you just couldn’t see past the storm that surrounded you. Rest in this – God saw more and when He sees more, that is enough.
That was the moment God met me at my bar stool. A time when I didn’t feel like I was much of anything. My mind was lost, and my heart felt empty. I busied myself with projects, procrastination, and an overbooked calendar. One of those projects happened to be refurbishing a few bar stools that I had acquired for my home. I gathered my supplies and began to sand down the wood, in preparation for the new coat of stain. As I spot tested the color I had chosen, I couldn’t help but become mesmerized by the beauty that resulted when the paint began to pile up in the cracks, creating these long lustrous patterns. It didn’t look plain and uneventful like the white paint did before. It was almost as though the cracks were trying to tell a story. What was once someone’s trash had suddenly came to life. Then – God met me there. The same process I saw come to life is exactly what He was doing within me.
And so, Here I Stand
The hardships – they were the sandpaper that stripped away the things that weren’t meant for me. The things that were holding me back. The heartache – that was the fire that burned valuable lessons into my soul. And so, through the furnace of affliction and fire, He began to purify me in my most secret and hidden places. Old traits, wrong mindsets, and all insecurities began to swiftly melt away from my true form.
As I look ahead to a new year and 365 new opportunities to do something radical and transformative, I cannot help but be grateful for the last 365. This was a season of great difficulty, yet powerful transformation.
What I’ve learned is that God can meet me anywhere, even at my bar stools. And now, He can now set me directly in the center of this broken and fragile world, knowing that I will radiate because of the gift of my imperfections.
We aren’t just broken. We are Kintsukuroi.