The Art of Scars
With shock and sadness I stood staring in disbelief at the broken pieces of my white vase. The blue Mickey Mouse silhouette on the vase created a random blue and white mosaic mess to clean up off the tile floor. My perceived loss of this valued souvenir from Tokyo Disneyland hit me hard but I had no one else to blame. As I was reaching for something on the shelf next to it my arm knocked it off.
While picking up the different-sized pieces, I decided to put it back together to keep my sweet memories intact. My first task was to try to figure out where the pieces belonged. Even with my best effort, the finished product looked jagged with crooked pieces sticking out slightly here and there. Smeared glue streaks were everywhere on the vase in various thicknesses. No doubt about it – the perfect vase was gone – but I still treasured the fractured version.
Broken things affect different people in different ways. Many can let go and move on. However, there are those like me who want to hang on to them. In Japan there is a centuries old tradition of fixing broken pottery with liquid gold or lacquer mixed with powdered gold. This art is called ‘kintsugi’ which means ‘gold-joinery’. The broken pottery item becomes even more special to the owner with the precious metal ‘fix’. Their thinking is the broken pieces are no longer something to regret but rather to be celebrated with pride and displayed with admiration.
A modern expression of ‘kintsugi’ calls it the ‘art of precious scars’. When I heard the phrase ‘precious scars’, I immediately thought of the scars that remained in Christ’s hands and feet after He hung on the Cross to take upon Himself the punishment for my sins and everyone’s sins so we could be forgiven and accepted into God’s Kingdom. Those nail-print scars forever symbolize His loving gift of salvation made available to all who trust in Him. I’m glad those nail-prints remained in His hands and feet as proof to His disciples He had indeed risen from the grave just as He said He would. What beautiful and meaningful scars – worth so much more than pure gold!
For His Glory!