Monday, May 15, 2017

Better Than New

"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places."
Ernest Hemingway

In the Japanese culture, there is an art form known as Kintsugi ("golden joinery") or Kintsukuroi ("golden repair"). The process involves repairing broken pottery with a mix of lacquer and dusted gold, silver, or platinum, making, the piece "better than new" and aesthetically more beautiful than before. According to several articles*, the philosophy behind the technique is to acknowledge the history of the piece and to incorporate the breakages into the design rather than hide them.

It was this art form that came to mind as I was reading several scriptures on brokenness. Like most people, I've been heart broken by the actions of others and have also been guilty of the same. As I meditated on several verses (Ps. 34:18, Ps. 51:17, Ps. 147:3, etc.), I felt not only the Spirit's comfort but also His gentle discipline. The result of that precious time in God's Word is the page below. 

The page began with forgiveness. On the left, I wrote down every offense, hurt, 
or injustice I had not yet forgiven or let go of. On the right, I asked the Lord to search 
my own heart for offenses I have inflicted on others. The page was then covered in black...

Having filled and covered both pages, it was 
time to "blot out" the transgressions on both sides (Isa. 43:25), to forgive, 
and to receive the forgiveness that Christ paid for.  

White was the next layer...
"Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow..." (Isa. 1:18)

Next came the repair. 

What Forgiveness Is and Isn't

Forgiveness does not change the reality of one's hurt. It does, however, bring healing and the ability to move forward. 

Forgiveness does not always mean a restoration in relationship. Sometimes, the healthiest thing to do is to physically detach. But, more importantly, forgiveness releases us from the emotional chains that bind us and hold us back. 

Apart from scripture itself, two books that have helped me in this area are Total Forgiveness by R.T. Kendall and Wounded by God's People by Anne Graham Lotz. I refer back to both of them from time to time for "spiritual upkeep". 

The Beauty of Our Brokenness

Like the Kintsugi pottery, our cracks and fractures can tell the beautiful story of a broken vessel made more durable and more beautiful by the skilled hands of the Master. It's a story that so many need to hear. 

*More on the art of Kintsugi/Kintsukuroi: