Kintsugi

  • May 19, 2017
  • #9145

When God repairs our shattered lives, it is His grace that makes us more beautiful, and gives Him glory.

Kintsugi

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with an uplifting word about pottery.

Yep, you heard me right. I’ve got quite a wonderful lesson to share about Japanese pottery. As you know, my husband Ken Takeshi Tada is sansei—that is, he’s third generation Japanese born here in America. And even though Ken is as American as they come, a real man’s man who loves football and fly fishing, his heart is rooted in the Japanese culture. If we are out on the road and looking for a good restaurant, usually he’ll ask me to google the whereabouts of a really good Japanese restaurant. He loves onigiri, and sushi, and sunanomo, and sukiyaki. And no matter how cold it is, you’ll always find him in his flip flops. Earlier this year, back in January, we were in Portland with freezing cold weather and what was he wearing in 32-degree weather? That’s right, his flip flops.

Ken is so Japanese and he loves talking about his family history. He was telling me the other day about something called Kintsugi. It’s a Japanese method for repairing broken pottery and it is quite an art form. The Japanese will repair, let’s say, a shattered ceramic jar with a special lacquer mixed with gold or silver or platinum. The broken pieces are adhered to the jar with the gold lacquer. And as you might imagine, you can see the broken places—the lines of what once were cracks—are now filled with a beautiful gold bonding agent. And believe me, pottery put back together with kintsugi is absolutely beautiful. The irregular crack lines, now accented in gold, give the ceramic piece a really classy look. The philosophy behind the technique is to recognize the history of the object (the fact that it was broken) and to visibly incorporate the brokenness into the repair, into the new piece instead of disguising it. That’s the part I resonate with. The potter does not want to disguise or conceal the injury to the ceramic jar, he wants to showcase the injury in stunning gold, or silver or platinum. Honestly, the process almost always results in something far more beautiful and far more elegant than the original. I put a video up on my radio page today at joniandfriends.org/radio. You just got to see it. It shows how a ceramic artist performs kintsugi and it is amazing.

I’m sure you’ve picked up on the obvious lesson here because God does kintsugi on his people all the time. When our lives are shattered by a terrible trial, He’s going to put us back together in a way that is far more beautiful, far more classy and elegant, far more stunning than before the trial. And He is certainly not going to disguise the injury. Rather than conceal the damage, He accentuates his grace through the broken pieces of our life. It’s a way of showcasing His handiwork through us, and people cannot help but admire the elegance of His kintsugi in our lives. It’s one way, perhaps the best way, that He performs Romans 8:28 in us, fitting the broken pieces together for our good, and His glory. If you want to see a picture of it, visit joniandfriends.org/radio to get a glimpse of that video of what I’m talking about.

And friend, as you do, thank you for celebrating our 35th anniversary with us through your prayers and encouragement. This lesson about kintsugi is exactly the sort of thing that I love sharing with you. And feel free to share today’s program with your Facebook friends. I know you’ll love watching that video as will your friends. And hey, if you feel so led, drop a line to the station here and thank them for airing Joni and Friends. It’s one way you can help us celebrate our 35th anniversary of Joni and Friends radio.

© Joni and Friends

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