Far away in the Land of the Rising Sunlives lives a school of Japanese potters who specialize in the art of kintsugi (golden journey). Their art form does not focus on forming perfect pottery with beautiful patterns or shapes, but on repairing broken pottery to highlight the journey of each piece. The beauty of their work is in the brokenness. After gathering up the broken pieces, they restore the vessel with gold, silver, or platinum lacquer. They use the most costly minerals on earth to bind the broken places.
The beauty of a kintsugi vessel is in the striking maps of its broken places.
The art of kintsugi tells us so much about how God sees brokenness. One of the most beautiful passages in the Bible on the topic of brokenness is Psalm 51, wherein David the king falls on his face before God in repentance. He has just realized how much he has failed God, his people, and himself. He stands before his Lord, utterly broken. But in the midst of his brokenness, he lifts his voice in faith, declaring,
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart— these, O God, You will not despise" (17).
Indeed, God did not turn David away simply because he had failed. He repaired and restored him, just as He continues to do with us today. Brokenness does not exclude us from God's love, power, or plan. He simply asks that, instead of trying to hide it in the shadows, that we bring it before Him so that He can do what He does best: lovingly repair us, not hiding the cracked and chipped places, but showcasing them in beauty so that our lives will forever testify of Him.