9 April, Thursday – Kintsugi: To Bind Up Hearts that are Broken

Maundy Thursday – Chrism mass

Isa 61:1-3, 6, 8-9
Apo 1:5-8
Lk 4:16-21

To bind up hearts that are broken

In January 2019, I attended a retreat where the retreat director introduced the Japanese practice of kintsugi. Kintsugi is the practice where broken ceramics or potteries are repaired through the use of lacquer using gold. The repaired items now showcase golden lines, and they have become a new artwork on their own. I was reminded of this as I read today’s readings and so many thoughts came to my mind.

First, I thought of how the broken pieces were the same pieces that were brought back together. It made me think of the times when I was so broken that I felt I lost myself. And just like this broken pottery, God looked for the pieces of me that broke up, and He made me whole again. It made me think of how God fixes us as us. He’s working on where we are, on what we are made of. Isn’t this amazing? You and I are good enough that God doesn’t need a new piece of us. The whole of us is good enough for the new art piece God wants to make in our lives.

Secondly, we have to be broken to get the gold. In one of my conversations with God, I asked him what happens to the pot He’s made if it breaks. And I was so happy to have realized that I don’t get uglier after being broken. In fact, I get more beautiful. Most of the time when we think of pain, we think of wounds and scars. Let’s face it, scars are ugly… well scars make some men look more handsome, but my point is that with this image of wounds and scars, it sometimes becomes difficult to see our hurts in a very positive light because they leave scars. But with the art of kintsugi, the piece becomes even more beautiful as gold fills the cracks, and they even become more valuable. I think that’s how God heals us. God binds our broken hearts with gold!

Finally, I imagined how God works on putting us back together. So maybe you could take a few minutes to imagine how God fixes us.

For me, I imagined that God would look for all our broken pieces. He will gather all the scattered pieces of our hearts, even those we ourselves couldn’t find. I imagine Him looking at each and every single piece, carefully observing and noting down the cracks so that He could fix us in the best way. And then He goes to work. Patiently, He picks up each piece one by one. He puts on the golden lacquer and holds the two pieces together gently but firmly, until the lacquer is strong enough to hold those pieces. And then He works on the next. It takes time, but He knows that it is only through time that the pieces will hold properly. This goes on.

And then He smiles at the finished product, as He smiles at you and me when we can finally smile back, because our broken hearts have been bound together with His golden love. And while he made us good at the beginning, we have become better in His hands.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Stephanie Villa)

Prayer: Dearest Lord God, help me be patient as you fix my broken heart.

Thanksgiving: Thank you, Lord, for letting us know that we become more beautiful after we have been broken.     

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