Kintsugi

Kintsugi: Kintsugi-golden-joinery_ plate

The art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer resin dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum….

As a philosophy kintsugi can been seen to have similarities to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi, an embracing of the flawed or imperfect. Japanese æsthetics values marks of wear by the use of an object. This can be seen as a rationale for keeping an object around even after it has broken and as a justification of kintsugi itself, highlighting the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object rather than allowing its service to end at the time of its damage or breakage.

Kintsugi_method_tea cupWhat happens in modern American society when something breaks?  Typically we throw it away.  We live in a society that doesn’t have time for the broken, for that which is no longer useful or beautiful.

Everything is disposable.

In many respects this has filtered over to our view of humanity.

Children our disposable.

Abortion is a form of birth control.  I don’t need a child right now.  This child may have birth defects.  We should have waited longer before starting a family.  Our family is too big as it is….. disposable.  If not perfect — rejected.

Disposable.

As part of the aging Baby-boomers I am becoming ever more aware of the state of elder care in this society.  Put them away.  Forget them.  Pills and meds.  Never visit or have contact.  Forgotten.  Worse yet – medical care decided on the basis of “quality of life”.

Disposable.

The medically challenged.  Such a drain on the medical system.  Families stressed.  No longer to able to “live with dignity”.  So some proclaim it is right to assist these individuals to end it all.  Quietly “die with dignity”.

Disposable.

Of course we can see from history what happens when one race or ethic group is deemed to be no longer valuable or damaged.

In the realm of spirituality we too often follow the same pattern.  There is a growing trend (in fact a national organization has been formed) to look at churches that are dysfunctional or struggling as —- disposable.  Shut them down.  Close the doors.  Liquidate the assets.  Move on.

Disposable.

What about individuals who are broken.  Who have spiritual issues.  On one hand the church is too often guilty of sending a message implying you aren’t welcome here — unless you get your act together.

On the other hand we often look at ourselves and decide we aren’t worthy.  Too broken.  No longer useful.

But grace says:

We come to God and He repairs us with Gold.  He mends the brokenness.  In fact He is expert at highlighting the cracks and repairs as simply an event in the life of an object [person] rather than allowing its [their] service to end at the time of its [their] damage or breakage.

Bring your brokenness before God.  He is in the business of repair and re-purposing our lives.  kintsugi_cup

 

 

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