It is fair to say that most people don’t like broken pieces, especially if the item broken is valuable. I would even venture to say that value really doesn’t matter in this instance, because if you’re like me, the fact that what was once whole is now broken, is disheartening. And because I don’t like broken things, whether it be a tangible item like a bracelet or brokenness found in the human heart, I try very hard to avoid it. For instance, my jewelry is carefully tucked away in a jewelry box. My children are instructed not to horseplay in parts of the house that hold valuable items, and I endeavor to live a prudent life all in an effort to avoid unnecessary brokenness. As you can imagine, even with all of the safeguards put in place, brokenness is sometimes unavoidable. Case in point, just recently one of my favorite pair of gold earrings broke, not because of negligence, but due to a manufacture’s defect.
On the flip side, I’m also discovering that something beautiful can happen with brokenness, especially in the human heart. In the Japanese culture, craftsmen practice a 500-year-old art called kintsugi, where they restore broken objects because they recognize the object’s potential or simply to repurpose it. I believe God practices a form of kintsugi in our lives too, where he allows brokenness to take place in effort to evoke our potential and reveal both beauty and strength. Much like a rose, who after it’s long awaited first bloom, is pruned in effort to rejuvenate the plant and encourage healthy growth … pruning is an essential part of its care. Interestingly enough, Jesus likened his followers who continue with Him as a branch that bears fruit or produces good, and because they bear fruit, God the Father purges/prunes them, so that they produce more good. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I can attest that most often the pruning process is unpleasant, yet ALWAYS produces good in me.
I must admit, the current brokenness of our nation and what seems like a paradigm shift of the world at large, makes me sad and feel a little broken inside. The beauty of this sadness is that I feel God the Father and Holy Spirit gently wooing me closer with comfort, almost indescribable. Hence, I try to meet the Lord every morning, before my family rises, to both talk and pray with Him. In the Bible, Daniel, a man greatly beloved of God, described a time when was speaking, praying, confessing his sin, and making supplications to God, all during one setting---much like what my time with God looks like these days … and I LOVE IT!!! My favorite time in this moment is when I simply talk to Him, because I sense He eagerly awaits to equally converse with me. In a time where I feel broken, I feel so loved and feel as though a metamorphosis is taking place on the inside … where it counts most. I’m learning that brokenness, in fact, can truly be beautiful when you take your broken pieces to the Master Craftsman!
I am reminded of Hannah in the Bible who suffered from years of infertility and desperately desired a child … her heart was broken due to her barrenness. One day, heavy in heart, she went to the temple to pray and wept bitterly before the Lord. Her brokenness and earnest prayer got God’s attention and the Bible says He remembered her and blessed her to conceive a son. I wonder what would have happened if Hannah had not brought her broken heart to God in prayer? I dare to venture, that the beauty of conception may not have ever taken place. I share this to encourage you, my friend, to not be afraid of brokenness. Oftentimes, therein, is found growth and new strength. Be encouraged to talk, pray, confess your sins, and make your request known to God … I promise He awaits you. God has the ability take your broken pieces and create beauty!
He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit, so they will produce even more. John 15:2 NLT