“Here I am, God
Arms wide open
Pouring out my life
Gracefully broken” (Matt Redman).
The prayer from tonight’s Kairos went something like this: Lord, into your hands I commit my brokenness.
That’s a good prayer for those of us who know that we are broken. After all, all of us are broken, but it’s more apparent in some. Not all of us are quite ready to admit it.
Some hide it and pretend it isn’t there.
Some make light of it and pretend that it doesn’t matter.
Some will act as if there’s nothing wrong with it the way it is.
The best way is to acknowledge it and give the pieces to Jesus.
There’s a kind of Japanese pottery called Kintsugi that takes broken vessels and mends them, using lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold. That way the cracks and imperfections aren’t hidden, but rather enhanced.
Rather than seeing beauty as flawless perfection, they see it as something that emerges out of a long history of suffering and survival.
Scars are what happens when the wounds of our broken places heal. Again, some will try to hide their scars and pretend they don’t exist.
My favorite writer, the one these blog posts are named after, one said, “On the last day, Jesus will look us over not for medals, diplomas, or honors, but for scars” (Brennan Manning).
Jesus chose to keep His scars in His resurrected body. He ascended into heaven with them. That says something about the honor and beauty of scars.
One quote from Kairos that stood out to me also came from an unlikely (at least to me) source, Ernest Hemingway. He said, “The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
I like that.
Brokenness and scars not only can become beautiful, but in the nail-scarred hands of Jesus, they are beautiful.
PS Much of the credit for this blog post goes to Chris Brooks, Kairos pastor, and to the good folks at Google for providing the information on Kintsugi that I “borrowed.” It’s a good thing this isn’t a term paper, or I’d be in serious trouble.