“Wounds can be an opening to the beauty in us.” Ann Voskamp’s – The Broken Way
I think the mistake so many of us make is that we doubt that God can make us into these works of art when we see ourselves as a broken pile of rubble, too shattered to fix or too scarred to show ourselves to the world. But what if the wounds were, as Ann Voskamp points out, the opening to the beauty in us? What would happen if we let Jesus take our hand and walk us straight into that rubble and allowed him to piece us together?
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise”- (Ps. 51:16–17)
It takes deep courage and profound humility to share the broken parts of our lives; exposing our hearts and admitting that we don’t have it all together. This is usually the first step in surrendering to the brokenness and leaning into God with a repentant and contrite heart.
“We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. -(Romans 5:3-5)
Today as well as throughout history, life will throw us unpredictable events – broken hearts, broken dreams, broken relationships – that can cause us to fall apart. We cry out “Why Lord, Why did this happen to me?”. I came upon a question to respond to ones such as this. Could God be allowing this thing to break your dependence on anything other than Him; conforming you so that He can work through you?
“Though You have made me see troubles, many and bitter, You will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.” – Psalm 71:20
There is a beautiful and ancient Japanese art form called Kintsugi. Kintsugi is a 500-year-old art practice that restores broken pieces of pottery. The philosophy centers more around the spiritual than the art; around a piece’s simplicity, bringing out the natural beauty of an object. The breaks are enhanced with gold and are not something to hide but to display with pride. Kin means golden, and tsugi means to repair.
Society frowns upon our imperfections. Things of old, antiques, are not valued but done away with to make room for bigger, better things where improvement is needed for all those imperfections. Kintsugi artists see something more, they see beauty in the form and use the brokenness to bring out new life, new beauty – to tell a new story. The cracks are a testament to the piece’s history.
Broken things are not useless, nor are we. When we deal with our brokenness in a positive way, we can learn from those negative experiences and more importantly witness to others about what God’s grace and redemption look like. He melts us and molds us and can put our broken pieces back together, making us more valuable than we were before.
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2“Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. ~Jeremiah 8:1-7
I want to end with a piece from an article I read called The Art of Brokenness (you can find the full article here) where the author shared an excerpt from a book by Ernest Hemingway. I just love this!
In his book A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway writes, “The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” Hemingway recognizes that being broken is an unavoidable part of living, and yet he reminds us that we have a choice about how we handle those breaks.
- We can get stuck in the brokenness and never heal.
- We can try to pretend the brokenness is not there, pushing it deep down inside us until one day we explode.
- We can go so far as to heal what’s broken, but still, allow our scars to remain tender and reactive.
- Or we can do the hard work to heal the brokenness by trusting the One who makes all things new again.
You may have heard me say, the scars we accumulate in our lifetime tell the history of our salvation. We need not to be ashamed by them. They are beautiful if for no other reason than giving a testimony to God at work in our life. Our scars bring healing to the world because they speak to our own story of hope and survival.
Sowing Sunday living in a weekday world.
I hope you enjoyed your visit here today. If you did, please share your thoughts in the comments below or share on social media using the hashtag #gardenerstouch.