The Art of Broken Pieces

In Japan, broken pottery is often repaired by filling the cracks with gold. They have several related techniques for repairing broken ceramics that involve other metals—including silver, copper, or bronze.

Meryl Streep’s Golden Globe speech has gone viral and leaving out the rest I want to skip to the part where she quoted Princess Leia who said, “Take your broken heart and make it art.”

That statement made me plunge into a pool of memories of a time when I had a broken heart. I knew exactly what she meant, in fact I had my own parallel for it. It was during this heartbreak that I had first stumbled upon a technique called, ‘Kintsugi’ or ‘Kintsukuroi’.

In Japan, broken pottery is often repaired by filling the cracks with gold. They have several related techniques for repairing broken ceramics that involve other metals—including silver, copper, or bronze. They even include pieces of other ceramics to fill missing gaps. These techniques create objects that are not just repaired, but rather are now works of art. Instead of disguising the damage, the flaw is a unique piece of its history, which adds to its beauty.

This idea radically changed my perspective and in turn, my life.

I wouldn’t ask God ‘why’, it only felt like a waste of time since it wasn’t going to lessen my pain. Instead, I began to ask Him to fill up the gaps and cracks in my heart with gold. Anything sparkling is always a personal preference, besides, I was so broken that I was certain I’d be glittering with all the gold when He was done.

Pain changes people. It’s just a matter of how we allow it to change us. We can make room for it and end up living together celebrating bitterness. Or, we can wave goodbye as it leaves when we allow ourselves to grieve and then slowly let go.

In retrospect, I thank God for the nights that I’ve cried myself to sleep, if I slept at all. They remind me to be grateful for every other content night.  When the tears dry up you see clearer than before. You begin to see traces of beauty in that brokenness and the God who makes all things new. Like Kintsugi, He uses our brokenness to bring greater beauty in us than would ever be possible without the break.

Consider this when you feel broken.

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.”- Romans 8:18

2 responses to “The Art of Broken Pieces”

  1. Avatar A k says:

    It was a wonderful way to start a morning,27th day of mourning for my dear departed wife as I read ‘the article of broken pieces’.
    Tks for posting it.

  2. Avatar Sherry James says:

    Maria this is beautiful! You made me realize I must be grateful to God for brokenness. Encouraged by you my daughter. May the Lord continue to use you to be a blessing to everyone who reads this. With love Mom. 🙂

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