– Michelle Peters
Kinstugi is an ancient Japanese art of fixing broken pottery, using a special lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. It has been heavily influenced by philosophical ideas—namely, the call to see beauty in the imperfect. The idea is that a repaired piece can be even more beautiful for having been broken, and it is revitalized with new life.
There is something incredibly spiritual about this concept. We can be made more beautiful out of brokenness. Often, as Christians, we want to convey a very “put together” image—perhaps so that people can see how good we are. Perhaps to live up to expectations, which could be external or internal. But embracing our brokenness is really when we let God shine through. Like the gold seams in the Kinstugi pottery, the presence of God is an improvement to the original piece (us) and gives it a new, revitalized purpose.
The Kinstugi repair method was also “born from the Japanese feeling of mottainai, which expressed regret when something is wasted, as well as mushin, the acceptance of change.” Again, what a beautiful concept! Our brokenness does not diminish our value or define our potential. Instead, it is an opportunity to embrace the change and move forward in redemption. As God refines us, it is like more gold being poured in, as less of us is being used to make the masterpiece. In his letter, James reminds us of this when he says to “humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up in honour.” (James 4:10)
In the last couple months, I’ve had so many inspiring interactions with members. At chapter meetings and on international trips, I’ve seen how God uses us, broken people, to bring about His plans. Our own brokenness demonstrates that He offers others the same hope and fulfillment we’ve found in Christ. It’s an incredible thing to be a part of. Churches around the world are relying on God to see change reach their countries. Young people are breaking away from societal stereotypes to make a difference for God. And when you looking at your grid, you embracing how God can use you with your uniqueness to reach others.
In the Bible, we read so many stories of different individuals being used for God’s purpose. But when you reflect on the Bible—the point of all of it—it points to God; it’s His story. That’s our lives, our ministry, and our work—being used in brokenness so God can be poured in and become the redemption of our story, so we can be used to tell His story.
Embrace your story, your shortcomings, and your failures, because that’s where God is at work in your life. And remember: you are more beautiful for having been broken.