Brokenness

By: David Stephens
According to legend, sometime in the 15th century, a Japanese military commander broke his prized Chinese tea bowl. He sent it back to China in the hope that it could be repaired. When his tea bowl was returned to him, it had been repaired with ugly, bulky metal staples. Unsatisfied, he then sent the tea bowl to Japanese artisans. They removed the staples and filled each fracture with a lacquer mixed with gold dust. The end product was a thing of beauty, and the art of kintsugi was born. Kintsugi literally translates “golden” (kin) “joinery” (tsugi). The art of kintsugi communicates that brokenness doesn’t signify the end of an item’s life, but an essential, significant moment in its history.

Brokenness. It’s a part of our existence. No matter how hard we try, we can’t avoid it. No matter how much paint we slap on it, we can’t disguise it. It started in the Garden and we’ve been desperately trying to fix it since. We say things like, “I just need to get over this,” or “When things get back to normal, then…,” or “I just need to push through it.” Like repairing a broken bowl with ugly staples. 

But the fact is, broken is broken. When something is broken, it can never be the same. It may be repaired, but there will be scars or new parts. It’s brokenness has changed it. 

No, brokenness is not something to fix. It’s something to walk in. 

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.

The work is done in the valley of our brokenness. Jesus takes this beautiful substance, His own life blood, and fills in the cracks and gaps of our brokenness. And as we walk out of the valley with Him, His beautiful glory shines in us—in our brokenness. Kintsugi. Golden joinery.

In Psalm 66, David said, “You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.” 

A place of abundance. A place of more. Not “back to normal.” More. 

Only Jesus can take our brokenness and transform it to a work of art, more than we ever were without Him. And that is what He does, always. 

Jesus meets us in our brokenness, walks us through it, and leads us to a place of abundance. When we truly embrace our brokenness, then we can truly embrace the glorious beauty of the Gospel.
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2 Comments


Mark Troutz - September 7th, 2021 at 1:29pm

Great encouragement, just what I needed today.

Scott Haggard - September 7th, 2021 at 5:20pm

Great message!!! I love how He has walked me through mine.