Fix it, Momma?

kintsugiI doubt this surprises you, but lots of things get broken in our house these days. Caleb has recently learned that he can bring some of those things to Leslie, along with a roll of tape, and say, “Fix it momma?” Usually, she can patch it back together. Now Leslie is really good with tape, but you can always tell—it’s not quite the same when it’s done.

The Japanese have a beautiful word: kintsukuroi. It literally means “golden repair.” When ancient Japanese pottery broke, the artisans didn’t try to find materials that would blend in with the original. Instead, they would use gold or silver lacquer to fill and seal the gaps, making the repaired object more beautiful and valuable than the original.

I like the philosophy behind it. Rather than attempting to cover up brokenness, it repairs it in an unashamed way that results in a better end result.

That sounds an awful lot like God, to me. He doesn’t ask us to scotch tape over our sin and pretend it never happened. “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)

Not only does God forgive us and restore us, I’d argue that he makes us better in the process. Who loves the most? Jesus said the one who had been forgiven most (see Luke 7:43-47). Paul said that when we are weak, then we are strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). Even suffering has the potential to make us better people (Romans 5:3-4, James 1:2, and 1 Peter 1:6-7).

Aren’t you glad that we serve a God who both can fix it—and make it better?