Sunday, September 8, 2013

Kintsugi or Kinsukuroi: Broken Things

A friend shared with me today the lovely art/idea of Kintsugi (Kinsukuroi).  Kintsugi is the traditional Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a strong adhesive and then sprinkling the adhesive with gold dust.  The result is that the broken pottery is now mended and in fact even stronger than the original.  Instead of trying to hide the flaws and cracks, they are accentuated and celebrated because they now have become the strongest part of the pottery.  

I love the idea that each of us can be mended and become even stronger than we originally were through Christ.  Often we view ourselves as not measuring up, not good enough, not perfect ... broken.  

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a talk in 2006 entitled  Broken Things to Mend
In his talk, Elder Holland shares the following insights:

"The first words Jesus spoke in His majestic Sermon on the Mount were to the troubled, the discouraged and downhearted. “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” He said, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Whether you are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or among the tens of thousands listening this morning who are not of our faith, I speak to those who are facing personal trials and family struggles, those who endure conflicts fought in the lonely foxholes of the heart, those trying to hold back floodwaters of despair that sometimes wash over us like a tsunami of the soul. I wish to speak particularly to you who feel your lives are broken, seemingly beyond repair....
If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort. If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope. If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened. If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended."

What a beautiful concept, that Christ will take us as we are, broken and tattered, and he will mend us
and help us become even more than we could ever become on our own.  There is a song that I love that expresses this so beautifully, Broken, by Kenneth Cope.

As we turn to the Savior to be healed and to be perfected, we may just find ourselves more filled with gold than with pottery.  And through Him we will be able to be whole, to be good enough, to be perfect.  Perfection isn't a life without flaws, it's a life where those flaws are mended, our hearts are healed, and we remember to keep breathing.

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