The Beauty Of Brokenness

This is Day 13 of my Write 31 Days series for 2017: 31 Days of Kintsugi.
For an index of all the posts in the series, please click here.

Kintsugi 2

She came uninvited.

She must have known the Pharisees would be scornful and angry and that her presence would be unwelcome, but she didn’t care.

Jesus was there- the man who had changed everything for her, the one who had assured her of God’s forgiveness, and given her hope that there could be a different way.  She had been broken- badly broken to the point where wholeness seemed unachievable- but then she had met Jesus and now it felt like anything was possible.

She could feel the brokenness being mended and, for the first time in a long time, instead of being full of fear and bitterness, she overflowed with love and gratitude.

She had to thank him, and so she came, bursting in to the Pharisee’s dinner party and pouring out everything- her perfume, her tears, and her love- releasing a beautiful fragrance into the whole house- not just the sweetness of the scent, but the fragrance of healing, of transformation, of brokenness made whole.

Of course there was outrage: “Doesn’t Jesus know what kind of woman this is?”  “What a waste of money to pour out all that perfume!”

But it didn’t matter, because Jesus understood.  He saw her heart, and her gratitude, and he honoured her before the assembled crowd, saying to Simon the host:

“Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair.  You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet.  You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.”  (Luke 8:44-47 NLT)

Assuring her again of forgiveness and salvation, he sent her on her way in peace.

For me, this story illustrates perfectly the paradox of Kintsugi.  It creates a beauty out of brokenness restored that is not there in the pristine and unblemished, a beauty that is only possible because of the brokenness.

The woman’s beautiful act of love and worship would never have taken place had she not sinned many times, and experienced such a depth of forgiveness.

It reminds me of one of Jesus’ statements which I have always found particularly puzzling:

“There is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”  (Luke 15:7 NLT)

I still don’t claim to fully understand the statement, but I can see the truth in it: when something precious is lost and then found, there is more celebration than if the item had never been lost at all.  The absence of it leads to a deeper appreciation when it is found than if it had been there all along.

One of the most beautiful weddings I attended was of a couple who had been married to one another previously but had divorced.  During their time of separation, each of them had individually come to faith in Jesus, and they had been reconciled and decided to marry once again.  There was something extra special about that wedding because of their story.  It truly was an example of Kintsugi- of their broken pieces being bound back together by God’s work of gold, creating something with a special beauty that could never have been found in their original, unbroken marriage.

I don’t think we are meant to deliberately create brokenness in order to do Kintsugi.  I don’t think we should sin to see more of God’s grace, or divorce to see God’s power to restore.  There is surely enough brokenness in the world without trying to create more!

But, where there is brokenness, there is hope.  What God creates from it has its own beauty- a beauty that cannot exist without the brokenness.

I pray that I will never be like the Pharisees, becoming self-righteous and looking down on someone because of their brokenness, but that instead I will see the potential, and the opportunity for God to use it to create something spectacular!

31 Days of Kintsugi button

Crystal Twaddell      Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up     

Faith on Fire | lylidunbar.com

 

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27 thoughts on “The Beauty Of Brokenness

  1. Love this, Lesley, especially because Barb and I remarried after divorce. The second time was in Las Vegas, in a helicopter over the Strip, at night, and was performed by a Catholic priest. Barb had said “No Elvises!” but I DID find a pair of blue suede shoes.

    In the field we had a saying – no one would reject blood from a universal donor, no matter what his race, ethnicity, or whether or not he was Taliban (if he was willing, and surprisingly many were).

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/10/your-dying-spouse-381-taking-care-of.html

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There is hope in brokenness. Praise the Lord today for his powerful message. The Lord has seen our hurts and brokenness today and He wants to renew us .

    Your neighbor from #GraceandTruth

    Diana

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post, Lesley and love your heart. The story of that wedding brings tears to my eyes – only God could do that.

    I am so encouraged by this story in the Bible. As a returned Prodigal I have been learning by God’s grace to work through the judgement, condemnation and shame heaped onto Prodigals within the church – not by man, but the evil one at work. I am thankful for it all though as it is teaching me again and again that my and others’ salvation hinges on Christ and Christ alone. The enemy loves to steal, kill and destroy by setting us up against each other. But God is teaching me to face these attacks with His beautiful truth. And often that levels more attacks at me – but in joining in the communion of suffering He makes us more like Him, doesn’t He?

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  4. “But, where there is brokenness, there is hope. What God creates from it has its own beauty- a beauty that cannot exist without the brokenness.” Beautiful!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. But, where there is brokenness, there is hope. I am part of a marriage that separated to heal. that time gave us a chance to re focus. Claim god as the third part of our stool and go forward. Fighting in His name not each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have come to realize that repentance, or brokenness, is just as excruciating whether you have broken a small commandment or a large one. Coming before God to be healed is just as vulnerable.

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  7. So much THIS: “For me, this story illustrates perfectly the paradox of Kintsugi. It creates a beauty out of brokenness restored that is not there in the pristine and unblemished, a beauty that is only possible because of the brokenness.” I’ve always loved this story. I also am reminded of another story-of the lost being found; the prodigal son.

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  8. I have always loved the story of the woman who washed Jesus’ feet. How kind of him to accept all sacrifices… Even those offered by flawed, sinful, broken and humbled people.
    Blessings in Him,
    Bri from forget-not-his-benefits.blogspot.com

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  9. I absolutely understand the broken-repaired-beautiful concept. I love both of our daughters equally, but the thought of our youngest brings a special thump to my heart and a tear to my eye because we almost lost her.

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  10. She wasn’t invited by the Pharisees, but she knew she would be invited by Jesus. She knew that was what mattered and she didn’t care about what the Pharisees thought…OH I wish I could not care what others thought more!

    I love this perspective on hope. A year ago we were broken, a horrible church situation, and all seemed hopeless, but you’re right. Hope grew fro our future, amazingly less than a month later God led us to our new church home. A loving, grace filled, gospel teaching church. We still struggle from time to time, but God is putting the pieces back together for sure.

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