To be human is to experience brokenness.
Brokenness isn’t easy to define. It has different meanings and provokes different feelings from one person to the next. It’s a fractured separation: a broken glass, a broken marriage, a broken promise…
No matter how untouched a subject, imperfections still exist. No matter the experience or the best intentions, sometimes perception says differently. Sometimes brokenness is downright aggressive, unfair and uncalled for.
Brokenness can be ugly if you don’t like…brokenness. It can tear you apart from the inside, leave you ragged like a dirty, tattered cloth. It can push you far into worlds of unknowing and self-doubt. It can leave you there…by yourself…until you don’t see another soul for miles or feel another feel except for your brokenness.
It can destroy if you let it.
Yet, I like to think that being broken is a beautiful thing.
It’s a place to feel. A place to share with the ones around you. A way to know people that you wouldn’t have associated with had you not been…broken. An experience that you learn more about YOU than you ever wanted to know. A humble-maker no doubt.
Brokenness is a tool to touch. To touch someone’s heart with your own open wound. To help them find God in your most vulnerable places. To get in touch with your own pain and then feel the searing touch of the Father’s hand as He gently repairs the wound in the process.
So brokenness is a sort of gateway to wholeness. Without it, you can’t understand the fullness of what being whole even means. To be made whole, to be MENDED by His holy hands – that’s the ultimate desire when everything falls apart. Holy hands love holiness, but they love brokenness just the same.
So next time you think your broken state defines you, think again. Your broken state propels you into uncharted territory, into expanses deeper and wider and more fulfilling than you’ve wandered into before. It can be the impetus that blooms the flower, that produces the diamond…
the process that creates something beautiful.
They say that because something is broken, it has a story, and that story makes it beautiful.
My friend, Britt Albin, is a NOLA artist with a story. After asking God for direction on how she could help people through her art, she came across the term, “Kintsugi,” which is the Japanese art of mending brokenness with gold.
In Kintsugi, an object’s brokenness and its repair are treated as a part of the history of the object rather than something to be hidden. Each fractured separation is repaired with radiant gold and given new life…an embracing of the brokenness and an awareness of the beauty within it.
After this inspiration, she started painting a series about the beauty within the broken. The name of her series? MENDED. And the ripple effect of it has been bigger than she could have ever hoped for…It’s also impacted her personally.
“God loves to use the empty and broken vessels. Our weaknesses show His strength. Our brokenness allows for His glory to shine through. It becomes a tapestry of His grace that cannot be duplicated or ignored. Everyone relates to being broken. It’s a lot harder to relate to unconditional love and grace within brokenness though. I want to change this.”
Find beauty and bring gold to the broken places? Yes.
Let’s be real with the broken places in our own lives, embrace them as a part of our story and celebrate the traces of grace, the gold repair…the beauty in our process.
Featured Artist and photos: Brit Albin Art
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