Brokenness Undisguised

Posted by Dawn Bovenmyer on

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. - 2 Corinthians 4:7 NIV

Kintsugi—have you ever heard of it? It is a Japanese art form that originated in the fifteenth century. The story goes that a Japanese shogun, dissatisfied with a repair job on a broken tea bowl, turned to a craftsman to improve the damaged appearance of his prized possession.

This craftsman developed a special glue or lacquer derived from the Chinese lacquer tree. After gluing the broken bowl back together, he covered the glued cracks with gold powder mixed with the resin and polished them to a sheen. The shogun was delighted with the finished product, and thus a new art form was born.

While most people like to hide the repairs made to damaged objects, hoping that they will look “as good as new,” Kintsugi has a different approach. Instead of trying to disguise the repairs, artists highlight them, by outlining the cracks or dents with various precious metals. The result is an object more beautiful and unique than its original form.

In the verse above Paul describes our lives as common jars of clay. There’s nothing fancy about us—in fact, in the “school of hard knocks,” we get chipped up, cracked, even broken. We can try to camouflage or hide the damage, but perhaps the better approach is to take our brokenness to the Master Craftsman.

Jesus knows how to mend the pot with careful attention to detail. His grace and power, His forgiveness and understanding, His compassion and faithfulness are like the resin and precious metals that fill in the cracks and turn a broken, unattractive pot into a vessel of beauty and glory to its Craftsman! Beautiful brokenness, undisguised!

Submitted by:
Dawn Bovenmyer
Stonebrook Community Church
Ames, Iowa

One-Year Bible Reading
1 Kings 8:1-66
Acts 7:51-8:13
Psalm 129:1-8
Proverbs 17:1

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