The art of broken pieces

Last night I could not sleep. My heart was heavy. In times like this, I usually go to the living room to pray. I started to write on my journal. And I burst into tears. Tears shed over past memories that bring pain and hurt. It feels as I move two or three steps forward and then whenever I cross over someone that reminds me this hurtful past, all the emotions come on the surface again. I poured my heart to the Lord. I am learning about the art of lament. Lamenting before him for the broken things, the events and people that broke my heart. Some continued on their way never realizing what they have caused. Some were aware and yet never admitted their wrongs. At times I feel as it would have been much easier if they returned to say “sorry we hurt you”. But they didn’t.

Don’t we all carry pain in some deep places, if we are real and admit that pain instead of covering it? Don’t we tend to hide the pain, or to get rid of it, burring it somewhere in our conscience, pretending like it does not exist anymore? Probably most of the pain that people carry has to do with unresolved hurt.

The truth is we do not know what to do with pain. We try to forgive, we know we should forgive. We think we forgave and we move on, until something or someone triggers the pain again. That pain reminds us of things we lost. Those were taken from us, or were denied to us. Sometimes that pain reminds us of the whole we used to be before that pain entered our lives. Often times we do not know what to do or how to deal with the broken pieces in a healthy way. Finding joy back through broken pieces becomes a challenge and the journey is not easy.

Last night as I was pouring my heart to the Lord, He led me to a post of Peter Szacero, an author I like and follow. The post was short, few sentences, the parallelism was significant and striking. It made me search more about what he mentioned: the art of kintsugi. The art of kintsugi originates sometimes in the 15th century in Japan. It is said that the Japanese 8th shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimasa sent his favorite broken tea bowl back to China to be repaired. Apparently when it was returned to him, he did not like it, as the repair looked robust. The Japanese craftsmen had this idea of using gold powder to cover the flaws. Since then a new art was born, the kintsugi. The philosophy after kintsugi is that flaws are welcomed and celebrated. They are part of the history of an object, thus they make it even more precious and valuable. The more flaws an object has, the higher is his value. It is even said that some craftsmen started to purposefully break vases to treat them with the kintsugi method.

When I read this story, my heart was deeply touched. I felt as the Lord was giving me another perspective on those broken parts of my life, and that brought joy. I am a kintsukuroy, repaired with gold by the loving hands of my Master and Creator. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is psalm 147:3 that says

“He mends the broken hearted and binds their wounds”

For a moment I could picture God as the Master Artist who binds our wounds with gold, redeeming these wounds and repurposing them for a greater purpose and use. The flaws and bounded wounds become the unique details that make us who we are. They add to our value because of the gentle and redeeming touch of the Master Artist. This should not surprise us. Have we not noticed that sometime some of the most compassionate, inspiring people, are not those who have a huge baggage of knowledge, but those who have a huge baggage of heart? Those who have gone through deep waters, great pains and brokenness, and who have raised up again. They can testify to us about the redemption power of God and His unfailing love.

Today, are you struggling with broken pieces of your life? Bring them to the Master Artist, so that with his loving hand He can bind them in gold and make a perfect, unique vessel, that is you!

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