Broken but Beautiful

I posted this article four months ago but after hearing Pastor Mike Cronin’s sermon tonight I thought about it and decided to re-blog this! Thanks Pastor Mike!

I saw a picture of a small pewter bowl with beautiful veins of gold in various places on it. It was very pretty and I wondered about the pattern until I read the explanation. It is called Kintsukuroi, which is a Japanese technique of repairing broken ceramics with metal lacquer, usually gold or silver. The word in Japanese means to “to repair with gold”. The concept also includes the understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. This touched a place in me that was hidden in the inner recesses of my heart. So many times I have felt broken and more in the way that Humpty Dumpty was broken, in a way that he couldn’t be put together again. When I saw the vessel that was beautiful because of the cracks not in spite of them, the way the gold had filled them making it look like a plan instead of an accident I wondered if God had done the same for me and I began to feel a little better about myself! I looked in the Bible to find out about brokenness from a scriptural standpoint and found that there are twenty-seven references about being broken. Jeremiah 18:1-6 The Lord gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, “Go down to the potter’s shop, and I will speak to you there.” So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the Lord gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.” This brought to mind the old chorus that says “Have Thine own way Lord, have Thine own way, Thou art the potter I am the clay, mold me and make me after Thine own will, while I am waiting yielded and still.” I have often said that you shouldn’t sing that song unless you really mean it because you are giving the Lord your permission to break and squeeze and mold you into the vessel He wants you to be.

Malachi 3:3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness. I looked up what a refiner of silver does, and found that he sits over the pot of silver that he is refining from the dross. The pot of silver is in the heat of the fire and the refiner doesn’t walk away to a cooler place, no he sits right there over the pot and watches the silver as it boils away all the impurities. The most interesting fact was the way the refiner knows when the gold or silver is completely purified when he can see the reflection of his own face looking up at him from that precious liquid metal in the pot that he knows it is pure and ready to be molded into a vessel or a beautiful piece of jewelry.

Lyrics penned by Rambo/McGuire says it beautifully, “Broken vessels of light piercing the night consumed with your blazing love, we’re a kingdom on fire advancing in power broken vessels of light.” When we are broken our inner light shines bright. I’m thinking some of us must look like lighthouses to guide those who need a light safely to shore, and we are beautiful!


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