Wabi-sabi-- my new favorite words. Just repeat them again and again! Let them roll off of your tongue...wabi-sabi, wabi-sabi, wabi-sabi!
But what does it mean? More fantastic than the saying of the words are their meaning: “to find beauty in broken or old things” Ha! The older I get...the more I LOVE these words!
In our western, “throw away” culture, we do not have an appreciation of wabi-sabi. But I have recently learned of Kintsugi- “kin”=golden and “tsugi”=repair. In Japan there is an ancient practice of taking broken pottery, cracked pots and dishes and mending them with lacquer laced with gold dust. This not only makes the once broken piece more aesthetically pleasing, its intrinsic value increases as well. But wait! There’s more! Even better than taking something broken and making it beautiful-- is this: the process is not intended to merely “fix the broken pot” but to make a lasting impression on the viewer…”The beauty” is intended to stay “in the one who is looking at the dish…”
This is the perfect picture of how God interacts with us! God does not discard us because we are so often chipped by life’s bumps, cracked due to rough handling, or even broken into a million pieces due to other’s carelessness or even due to our own mismanagement of our lives. No! God takes what we hand to Him--bumps, cracks and brokenness, and mends them. But not with just any old glue, but with the blood of His own dear Son. He washes over us, fills us, recreates and restores us. It is by His wounds that we are healed (Isaiah 53:5*). And the most amazing thing of all...He then proudly uses us again! He calls us His own! We are His beloved workmanship, we are worth more than we will ever know to Him. And the loving gaze of Our Father...is like that of those who look upon Kintsugi...”The beauty” stays “in the One who is looking at the dish…”
“He found them in a wilderness, a wasteland of howling desert. He shielded them, cared for them, guarded them as the apple of his eye.” Deuteronomy 32:10
Such wondrous love as this is too great for me to understand. How can You take brokenness and make it beautiful? How can You look upon me and call me Your beloved? How can You love me when so often, I don’t even love myself? I know not how...but thank You for taking broken things, recreating them...and holding them forever in Your loving gaze. Thank You for the grace of wabi-sabi. May I be able to pass it on.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
*"But he was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by his wounds we were healed." (Isaiah 53:5)