Instead of hiding who we are, we have to embrace the broken times and faults that make us beautiful.
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When a piece of pottery cracks or breaks into numerous pieces, it’s tempting to toss it out as no longer useful. It is damaged, both functionally and aesthetically. But Japanese artists don’t agree. They mix gold with lacquer to repair the pottery, and the result is something that is completely unique and beautiful. Where cracks previously ran, gold lines mark the surface of the vase or other pottery.
It’s called Kintsukuroi, and I think the concept has value to more than just pottery. The notion that the cracks and flaws can be addressed, creating something new and unique, is something I think applies to people too.
We as human beings aren’t perfect, and we may not be 100 percent healed on this earth. All of us have cracks and dings, whether you can see them or not. But those cracks can be healed over time and the lines that are left over time is the beautiful tapestry that becomes our life. Our beautiful, flawed life.
We won’t ever be perfect, but if we practice self-care, as a Japanese artist cares for pottery, all those things in our life we thought were regrets, or mistakes, or wrong turns can be turned into experiences that make us grow as a person and become the individual we were meant to be.
Psalm 147:3 says, "God heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds". That’s exactly what the Kintsukuroi artist does with the broken pottery. God doesn’t erase those cracks — He knows they are critical to making us who we are today. Instead, he fills them with His love and His light — it’s the Divine equivalent to lacquer and gold.
If we try to hide or erase who we really are — faults and all — God can’t work in us to create that beautiful life that’s like the pottery. Instead, we have to embrace the broken times and faults that make us who we are.
That’s not the same thing as embracing what may be broken and need to change. It’s not about giving in to what we know is wrong or a poor decision. It’s about accepting that our faults don’t fully define us, but they are part of us. It is about turning them over to God, learning, growing, and allowing them to put us on the path we are meant to be on. Then, one day we will look in the mirror, see all we have been through and say, “I’m thankful for a full life and these cracks have turned me into a beautiful person. I am thankful for it all.
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