Kintsukuroi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by filling it with gold has been around for centuries. There are varying tales that attempt to trace back the origin of this process but all of the tales agree on one thing; it began with an emperor.
This art form still exists today but is not only reserved for the Japanese culture. Most of us know it by a different name; Restoration.
Is there hope after being broken? That is the question we ask ourselves and in most instances the answer we hear is “no”. Stories of defeat, despair, and resignation are constantly heard in our society and are accepted as normal. In fact one who rises out of failure is many times doubted, questioned, and scrutinized.
We try to hide our scars because they tell the stories of our lives and in many instances it is not an area we want to revisit. We begin to think if we hide them long enough that our very real past might somehow begin to fade away.
If this pagan emperor was able to see beauty in brokenness how could we be blind to it? What if there was a way to find beauty in the scars of life?
In God’s Hands, our scars are not meant to fade away but rather to be displayed in such a way that no matter how ugly and deep the scar is, what is illuminated is the restoration.
The Japanese belief states that a piece is more beautiful for having been broken. Thus, when a vase is broken, if it is filled with the originating material, the cracks would blend in and be virtually invisible. For this reason, in order for the brokenness to be appreciated it is highlighted. In the case of this art form, it is filled with gold.
God does the same thing. In restoration He brings us back to our original blueprint but does so in an enhanced manner. He doesn’t just piece us back together, heal our wounds and not allow any scaring so that we would fit back in with everyone else. On the contrary, in this restoration He magnifies those same scars so that we would stand out for the work He has done in us by filling us with His grace.
By grace we are carefully pieced back together and only through grace can the scars of our life appear beautiful! His grace overshadows all trauma, insignificance, disadvantage, and inadequacy brought upon by brokenness and replaces it with Value, Beauty, and Effectiveness.
In a way that only He can, He turns what was once a cause of disgrace into a testimony.
This is where imperfection meets perfection.
Consider the exchange that takes place; brokenness for wholeness.
His grace filling us, far supersedes anything we may have counted as a loss.
Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ – Philippians 3:8
True risk then comes from allowing others to see us as we really are. Fragmented individuals rescued by the Hand of God. No longer hiding our scars but placing them on display for the world to see and attesting to His mighty works.
Let’s take a look at what is deposited in us during this great exchange.
Value: One of the things that determine the value of an item is its history. Factors such as whom the item belonged to, and where it has been, all play a part. The demand for the item also helps to decide its worth.
The value that God places on us is the same. The bible tells us time and time again that we were purchased at a high price. The cost was Jesus! Thus, we belong to Him. No matter how misty our past has been, after restoration, we are no longer defined by brokenness or failures. Instead we are seen as overcomers. Where we have been no longer matters, but rather where we are going. Everyone yearns for true restoration, but apart from God, restoration is limited.
You were bought with a price purchased with preciousness and paid for by Christ; then do not yield yourselves to become in your own estimation slaves to men but consider yourselves slaves to Christ. 1 Corinthians 7:23
Beauty: Just like in the art of Kintsukuroi a vase is more beautiful for having been broken, so are we in the eyes of the Lord. Times of failure can leave us feeling dull and as if we have lost our luster, but it is actually the overcoming of these same trials that makes us shine brightest.
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…Isaiah 61:3
Effectiveness: Testimonies are born out of trials, failures, disappointments, or struggles. Our restoration is only complete when we share with others what has been done for us. This is our assignment; to not allow the enemy to silence our praise. The essence of an effective testimony is that one which reveals Christ’s grace.
And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death Revelation 12:11
Only God can take something, accentuate its flaws, and make it more beautiful than it was at the beginning.
But even more beautiful than the restored piece, are the Hands of the one that restored it!
2 Corinthians 12:9 says it like this …“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness”…
Thank you Lord for Scars of Gold!