Broken things are scattered shards. Cracks, chips and missing pieces. Loss. Void of its shape and form. It doesn’t represent the beauty it once was admired for. This is true of porcelain, ceramic or treasured Lalique glass, but equally and devastatingly true of man’s soul.
It will remain broken unless one considers the 400-year-old Kintsugi, the ancient Japanese art of aesthetic repair where the areas of breakage are mended together with lacquer infused with gold, silver or platinum pigment. Where some fragments are not available, the entirety of the addition is filled with gold.
Its philosophy celebrates breakage and repair as part of the history of an object rather than something to disguise. Brokenness is seen as an event not as the end of something beautiful. Kintsugi art illuminates the breakage to show, not brokenness beyond repair, but victory over humanity’s vulnerability to the shattering which we are subject to in an imperfect and cruel world.
Kintsugi’s golden seam of mending not only covers the scars but also evokes appreciation of the incomplete and the transiency of beauty.
The marks of wear in a human heart is unseen though. It is felt, these cuts, often inflicted by sickles of revenge in the hands of parents, nurturers, friends or lovers. With each swing of their razor sharp sickle blades, they harvest reasons to hurt. They then store grudges and injustices done unto them. These store rooms of scars are translated into control and manipulation. Their actions shape lessor lives according to their own broken shape they had been moulded in by those in their past, holding sickles.
Decades of worn eventually manifests in hopelessness. Change seems impossible. Circumstances close in on one, like an unlit room. The soul is held captive. The eye is dim and can’t see a way out. The heart refuses to hope as it was hurt countless times by those who traditionally supposed to live up to their legacy of love, support, protection and nurture. They now resemble the enemy. They are the wrecking balls of vulnerability.
Can we be the resin, the gold? Can we be the repair man? Kintsugi teaches us that we can. We can line up and contribute our talents, skills and abilities professionally to mend the minds of the broken so they can run again, live again and discover liberty. It isn’t charity. It is compassion. It is the will to deposit time into the remake of our fellow man.
Love sculpts lives back together again. Compassion moulds a soul back to its lustrous self.
The secret to a remake though, is that brokenness can’t heal itself. It needs an artist.
Art heals. Its magnificence originates in creativity. It humbly mimics the eternal art of the Lord God Almighty and His Son Jesus Christ, the great Saviour and Messiah, the God-Man who came to deliver us from brokenness.