Saturday 24 February 2018

Our Kintsugi Souls

Broken Yet Together

"I'm not a Christian because I'm strong and have it all together. I'm a Christian because I'm weak and admit I need a Savior."
 -- Lecrae [1]

One night during a dark time in my life I lay on my floor praying and sobbing.  It seemed like my students at the time were going through difficult situations, while all of my close friends were struggling in their walk with the Lord.  I had an intense desire to help each of them, but what could I possibly do?  I knew that I wasn't capable of fixing a person's heart or saving their soul.  But I could hear God saying, "Anna, these people are my responsibility, not yours.  Just do what I have asked you to do."

I poured my heart out to the wise woman I call my mother, and she told me, "Parents often feel as though they are not doing good enough, and that they are not providing their child with everything she needs.  And they aren't!  But we must remember that a person's life is like a mosaic.  A mosaic has many small tiles and pieces of glass which make up a bigger picture.  Similarly, a person's life is made up of many people, and even if they are small or in our lives for only a short time, they play a role.  All you are asked to do, Anna, is to do what you are capable of, and God will provide whatever and whoever else your child, student or friend needs."

My Ceramic Heart

I had a vision once of my heart, which looked like it was made of ceramic   It was broken and had wide open cracks in it.  Then I saw the Holy Spirit like a brilliant orb of light descend and enter inside of it, and through the broken gashes the light shone out into the surrounding darkness.  I heard God say, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 

Paul quotes that passage in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, going on to say,  "Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 

Our aching hearts can only be made whole in Christ, and God will use our brokenness and shortcomings to glorify Himself.  I have struggled with hating myself when I sin and being unable to forgive myself.  I used to think on some level that God loves me more when I'm doing good and performing the righteous deed.  Satan whispers lies and accusations, trying to distract me;
"You're too weak at heart; you're too far from God to be used by Him successfully."
"You're a failure as a pastor's wife."
"The only people who will ever love you are people who are needy for could anyone love you if you're the needy one?"

However, the truth is very different.  I'm more sinful than I realize, yet I'm forgiven and more loved than I can ever fully know.  Ephesians 2:8-10 declares,  "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."

Being Made Whole

Yes, we are messy, sinful, broken people, but God makes us whole and gives us the power to follow and obey Him.  There was a song by Casting Crowns called, "Broken Together."  The song is about a married couple going through a difficult time, and the lyrics have struck a chord with many people.  The chorus goes,
"Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I'll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we'll last forever is broken together" [2]

Much of Casting Crowns music has deeply blessed me, but I found this particular song troubling.  This feeling of brokenness resonates with the vast majority of people, but God ultimately has another plan in mind for His children.  James 1:2-4 says, "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

There's a beautiful Japanese art form called kintsugi.  It involves taking broken pottery and piecing it back together with lacquer mixed with gold, silver or platinum powder.  Not only does this make the shattered pot whole and functional again, but it makes it more beautiful and valuable   This is exactly what God does with us after we've been beaten and battered by the world, and even after we've sinned.  Our shortcomings give God a chance to do what we can't, which will show the world around us just how good and powerful He is. This is why we don't need to get bogged down in shame or feel we're not good enough to bring glory to God.  

We are vessels carrying The Fire of the Holy Spirit.  None of us is perfect vessels, but it's The Fire itself we're carrying which is important.  So I encourage you, brothers and sisters, to be a conduit of the Holy Spirit's light.  You can't do this in your own power, but Christ will be faithful to work through you as you worship and seek after Him.

Author Bio

Anna Sojourning is a child of God and is the wife of a Christian pastor of the Asian persuasion. She enjoys travelling, going on dates with her husband, and drinking innumerable cups of tea while she writes. She has a passion for deepening her relationship with God, and she desires to show others what He has taught her through scripture and through life experiences.

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[1] LeCrae., Wind and Fly LTD, 2018., accessed February 17, 2018.
[2]  Casting Crowns, "Broken Together." Thrive. CD. Beach Street/Reunion. 2014.


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