There is a Japanese art form called Kintsukuroi, about which I knew nothing until a few weeks ago. But thirty years ago, shortly before my ordination to Christian ministry, I was on a prayer retreat when an image arose in my mind in answer to a despairing plea to God. When I saw this image posted on Facebook, it called me back to that memory.
I had been praying about my sins, deeply distressed by them. In my distress I called out to God, and in answer to that plea I saw in my mind’s eye a cup stained inside with a black fungus. I knew the cup was my life and the fungus was my sin. Then I saw the thumb of God gently move inside the cup, wiping the black fungus away. Where God’s thumb passed, there was left only a strong thread of gold. I understood that this was the Lord’s assurance that he was doing this miracle in my life – transforming the very thing in me that was most disfiguring and shameful into something strong and beautiful and precious. I understood this as an affirmation that God’s mercy is doing this for all of us who yield to Him — making our lives whole, repairing our brokenness with his own holiness.
The apostle Paul called us God’s work of art. Part of that work is an art form called Kintsukuroi.
I don’t pretend to understand it. I just give thanks for it. Where God’s transforming, forgiving grace flows through our lives, the cup of our life is made stronger and more beautiful than before. That’s the promise.
I hope you can find through this image the blessing and hope that you need. We are all living in the grace of the Holy God. Thanks be to God!