Breaking Point

Broken, shattered, pieces scattered, cut adrift.

I thought August would look different this year.

God, I thought we were going to go back to normal.

Did I miss the memo? Does normal even exist?

When we decided to continue with virtual school this year, my emotions were all over the place. I knew returning to brick and mortar wouldn’t be best for us. Moving ahead felt impossible.

On the floor crying. Again. I was questioning God’s plan. Why? Why do I have to do this again? It didn’t go well last time around. Why would it be better this time?

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23.

His mercies are new every morning.

“I am repairing what was broken.”

Everything feels broken, God. I don’t know if there are enough pieces left to patch us up again.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing. Do you not perceive it?”

As I began wondering about repairing broken things, God reminded me of an ancient Japanese art form, kintsugi (golden repair). It is the art of repairing a broken vessel using gold lacquer to fill the cracks. Instead of hiding the imperfections, kintsugi highlights the repair.

“An art form born from ‘mottainai’ — the feeling of regret when something is wasted — and ‘mushin,’ the need to accept change: the cracks are seamed with lacquer resin and powdered gold, silver, or platinum, and often reference natural forms like waterfalls, rivers, or landscapes. This method transforms the artifact into something new, making it more rare, beautiful, and storied than the original.” Andrea Mantovani

So often, I want God to restore what has been broken or lost. Restoration is about returning a person or a thing to its former condition. God, in His infinite mercy, doesn’t just want restoration. He wants to transform what has been broken. He wants to create something new.

Sometimes during the repair process, pieces are missing or lost. Kintsugi art often consists of using a piece that wasn’t part of the original. As a result, the artist creates something unique and more valuable than the original.

I believed I wanted to return to normal, or even a new normal would be okay. But, instead, God is transforming us into something new.

As I am sitting in the middle of this repair process, I will allow God to fill in all the cracks with his special glue and gold dust blend. Things may get a little hot during the journey, but “The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.'” (Lamentations 3:24)

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