Recently, I was exposed to this form of Japanese art through a teaching by Mike Hutchings and was totally fascinated. You see, the Japanese artists take that which was broken and mends it in a way that actually increases its value.
They take a broken ceramic pot, plate, bowl, etc. and they repair it with lacquer sprinkled with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. They treat breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. The end result is an object of even greater beauty and value.
Isn’t that exactly what God wants to do for us? He does not want us to try to hide our brokenness from Him, but rather give it to Him – the Creator of our unique design. He says in His Word that He came to bind up the broken hearted (Isa 61:1); that He wants to bestow on us beauty for ashes (Isa 61:3).
God’s repair work is restoration that increases our value. He wants it to become part of HIS story. While our brokenness may be very painful in the moment, if we allow God into those broken places, His power to mend and restore is filled with tender compassion, mercy, and healing.
On the other hand, we can remain stubborn and resist Him. We can determine that our brokenness is beyond His ability to repair; or that we don’t deserve to ask for His help; so we try to fix it ourselves or simply live in despair.
We may even fall prey to the lies of the enemy and believe that God caused this break and it is our punishment.
Oh, my dear friends, that is so unlike God’s character! He knew in advance that we would mess up. He sent His only Son to pay for all our junk. He covered our sin with His Blood!
Once something has been bought and paid for it doesn’t ever have to be paid for again. It is marked, PAID IN FULL. In His own words He calls us, “oaks of righteousness” (Isa 61:3). He has clothed us with garments of salvation and given us a robe of righteousness (Isa 61:10).
Are we willing to believe He means what He says? If we are, that gold and silver lacquer can begin to pour into our brokenness – healing and restoring – creating a new life story.
It may not be the story we imagined; but, if we are willing to let go, we will discover that His ways are higher. Our story could be filled with new things, exceedingly, abundantly more than we could ask or imagine (Eph 3:20).
Personally, I spent way too long cracked, sitting on the shelf, complaining about my condition. I was ready for some of that liquid gold – and did God ever deliver! Are you ready to trust that your end result could be far more valuable than before the break? If so, give that brokenness to God. Surrender your expectations to Him and allow Him to do a new work – creating beauty out of ashes.