Theologians At Lunch

Beauty from Brokenness

I wonder if you have ever had the opportunity to view a piece of ceramic art which has had the ancient Japanese Kintsugi treatment? Kintsugi advocates that something which has been broken can be even more beautiful if the cracks and breaks are repaired with gold – which stands out and highlights the damage, rather than masking it. There is something deeply moving about this practice: that something can not only retain its previous beauty in form and function once its been broken, but in the process of being repaired, instead of discarded, can actually become more beautiful. When I was a little girl growing up in church we used to sing a song about which talked about God taking the brokenness of our lives, and turning it into beauty, and that’s what I think of whenever I see one of these beautiful pieces. Sometimes its tempting to think that when we’ve made a mess of something; whether its an assignment, a conversation or a relationship – its easier to throw it away and start again. But the art of Kintsugi reminds us that God is in the business of taking the broken, and making it beautiful.