Have you ever heard of the Japanese artform called Kintsugi? The word means “golden joinery” or “golden repair.” The art is created when a treasured ceramic, like a clay bowl, is broken. Instead of throwing away the old pieces and making a new ceramic altogether, the artist takes the broken pieces and mends them together by mixing lacquer with powdered metal such as gold. The effect is the same shape as the original beloved ceramic, but with all the cracks now filled in with gold, the cracks become the focus of the clay pot. Repairing the damage in this way creates a stronger and more beautiful object than what existed before.
The artform of Kintsugi can remind us to embrace the beauty found in our flaws and develop resilience through the hard parts of our lives. Greater still, the art of Kintsugi can help us see God’s great love for His own Creation. The prophet Isaiah describes human beings as clay in God’s hands (Isaiah 64:8). In His love, God not only gave us life, but sculpted something He thought was beautiful and “very good” (Genesis 1:31). Sadly, sin brought brokenness throughout creation, and in our brokenness we tend to forget how great our beauty is in the eyes of our Lord.
I often focus on my imperfections, giving me a low view of myself. It’s hard not to look at our bodies and notice where we’re broken or what we think our flaws are. But this is not how God views His children or how He wants us to view ourselves. He wants to restore brokenness. He invites us to acknowledge our pain and receive His compassion and forgiveness. But we don’t stop there. By grace through faith in Jesus Christ, God is redeeming us, making us stronger and even more glorious than before. Second Corinthians 12:9-10 even says we can delight in our weaknesses because Jesus’s power “is made perfect in weakness.” Remember, when Jesus rose from the dead, He still displayed His wounds from His crucifixion. Jesus’s body was and is broken for us. His wounds reveal how deeply He loves us and our bodies. Because of His love, we can love every part of our bodies, looking forward to the day Jesus will raise us from the dead and all our broken places will be fully healed and glorified. As the artwork of our Creator, let us use our bodies to bring glory to our great Artist. • Peter J. McDonough
• Can you think of a time you viewed an imperfection in your body in a way that made you feel bad about yourself? God takes the same exact moment and says you are beautiful, His Creation He is redeeming. How might God be inviting you to view this imperfection in light of His grace?
We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8b (NIV)