Kintsugi, or the Japanese-origin art of repairing broken ceramics with gold, was on my mind this week as I worked my job in the corporate bureaucracy. I often feel like broken dishware, all sharp edges, so the comparison might seem apt, but it goes beyond the surface-level answer for it being related thoughts of God’s mercy remaking me.
I think it has more to do with image. We are all made in the image of God, and while Jesus is the image of the invisible Father, we are (potentially) images of Jesus to the world. This makes each of us important in the economy of God’s grace to the world–we are all shining beacons through which His love reaches His Creation. This make our lives here on Earth valuable, when the world usually tells us were are worthless (unless it has something to sell us.)
But it is still something else, a part of the idea of image, that I think has brought it to my mind. My thoughts go something like this:
- We are made in the image of God;
- We exist in the world;
- We exist in order to give glory to God;
- The way in which we are supposed to give glory to God is part of God’s plan.
This leads me to think that we are each of us images of God not just to the world, but also back to God–we are an image of some aspect of God Himself that it pleases Him to look upon and see in the world… or at least, we are potentially. When we live up to our God-given potential, we are members of God’s Church; when we sin, we are separated from His Church, His Body, His People Israel… but also from the plan He wanted for us, and for those around us.
Wrapping back around to the beginning, the art of kintsugi represents God’s plan for remaking all of us into one nation, and for each one of us into sons and daughters; unfortunately, not all of us cooperate. In fact, none of us cooperate all of the time. The question that was in my mind as I worked my stacks of paper: which am I? Who am I, in the eyes of God? Am I a shattered bowl still, or have I cooperated and been remade? What about you?