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Beauty in Brokenness: The World Breaks Everyone

February 28, 2014

The World Breaks Everyone

“The world breaks everyone, then some become strong at the broken places.”

~Ernest Hemingway

They say that after a bone is broken, when it heals, it is stronger at the site of the break.

When Gabe is making things form wood out in the garage, he’s told me before that the joints held together by glue are stronger than the wood itself. The wood will break before the joint will.

We all break. This world, it will break us. Hell happens here on earth and it happens every day. We will be disappointed. We will suffer. We will all know grief.

And yet…

When healing happens, when we allow the healing to happen, the seam that remains can become our source of strength.

We so often try to hide these seams, these cracks in our armor. We see them as flaws, and hide, trying to masquerade behind a facade that really doesn’t represent who we are at all.

But the cracks are how the light gets through.

Pique assiette is the French term for mosaics of broken shards of pottery. Literally “stolen plate” – a lovely, hand-painted vase becomes extraordinary when broken and reassembled.

Kind of like us.

Kinsugi is a Japanese art form in which broken pottery is mended…in pure gold.

Photo Credit: by tschörda, via Creative Commons

Kintsugi adds a whole new level of aesthetic complexity to the vessels that it mends… Because the repairs are done with such immaculate craft, and in precious metal, it’s hard to read them as a record of violence and damage. Instead, they take on the look of a deliberate incursion of radically free abstraction into an object that was made according to an utterly different system. It’s like a tiny moment of free jazz played during a fugue by Bach.

Golden Seams: The Japanese Art of Mending Ceramics’ at FreerThe Washington Post, by Blake Gopnik

Pure gold. A precious metal, mending our brokenness. I think, perhaps, this is how God sees our flaws. Our flaws make us so beautiful to Him because they allow others to see how He has healed us. Our flaws are precious, and beautiful to Him.

There is beauty in our brokenness, loveliness in our flaws. There is hope sewn into our seams…if only we have the grace, and guts, to let them out into the open.

We are all broken, every one. It is the mending that gives us beauty.

What about you? 

How has God mended your brokenness?

What flaws have you been hiding?

Has anyone else’s story given you hope? 


Did you like this post? You might also like:

Perfectly Imperfect: Seeing Ourselves for What We Truly Are

Tarnish of the Soul: Bitterness

The Self-Blame Shame Game: Game Over

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Image credit: nito500 / 123RF Stock Photo

6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2014 7:23 am

    My first reaction to Kintsugi? “What a waste of gold.” Oh, and tears…

    • February 28, 2014 7:38 am

      I like to think of it as the value God puts on our brokenness…you, broken and human, are worth more than gold!

      • Dena permalink
        May 27, 2014 4:36 pm

        I love how you put this!!

  2. February 28, 2014 2:53 pm

    Having experienced God’s healing of much brokenness in my life, I still stand in awe of the paradoxical way God works. When we break something we usually just throw it away, but not God … He makes something better, stronger and more beautiful out of it. Divorce, cancer, wayward children … He can do it!

  3. March 4, 2014 1:54 pm

    Reblogged this on Witty Words.

  4. March 4, 2014 1:55 pm

    What an absolutely amazingly beautiful thought ….

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