To be honest, I love a nice, neat package tied-up with a bow. A place for everything and everything in its place. But that is often not reality. Well, maybe for a few minutes… but then I have to get out of bed! Life is hard. My life at times more resemblant of a cardboard box with scuff marks and torn edges. Pieces hanging out the top and sides bulging from the overstuffed contents. I’m certain there is still a bow (and duck tape!) wrapped around the outside holding everything in! I am becoming okay with the fact that life is far harder, messier, and yet more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

2 Corinthians 4:7 AMP describes another type of package. It says, “But we have this precious treasure [the good news about salvation] in [unworthy] earthen vessels [of human frailty], so that the grandeur and surpassing greatness of the power will be [shown to be] from God [His sufficiency] and not from ourselves.” God has chosen us, weak and frail, as the perfect package to display His power!

I’m sure you have experienced it, the crashing sound of a prized vase, favorite mug, or sentimental figurine. Broken, the pieces laying scattered on the floor. I remember visits to my in-law’s home early in my marriage. Sweet vignettes of carefully staged treasures decorated shelves and bookcases. Nooks and crannies were tucked with family photos, baby bonnets, and booties. Once, I reached to lift the lid of an antique ceramic box only to have the decorative handle pull-away in my hand. A clever child had disguised the brokenness, carefully positioning and placing the handle back in it’s spot. Children play and accidents happen but even as adults we go to great lengths to hide brokenness. 

I recently learned about the art of Kintsugi. It literally means golden repair. Kintsugi is the Japanese technique of repairing broken objects with precious metal – liquid gold, liquid silver, or lacquer dusted with powdered gold. The goal is not only bringing the broken pieces of the pottery together but enhancing and transforming the entire object at the same time. The results are fascinating, bowls and vases adorned with intricate metallic veining. The breaks form unique patterns painstakingly filled to create a result even more beautiful and valuable than before. 

Isn’t this like us? 

“Circumstances may appear to wreck our lives and God’s plans, but God is not helpless among the ruins. Our broken lives are not lost or useless. God’s love is still working, He comes in and takes the calamity and uses it victoriously, working out His wonderful plan of love.” 

Eric Liddell

Brokenness happens. Plans are undone, relationships struggle, and businesses fail. In times like these we can either hide our brokenness, disguising it with carefully constructed facades of okay-ness or we can be honest, open, and courageous and bring our brokenness to God. God can do a work of beauty in spite of it all. A work that powerfully transforms our life and impacts those around us.