Kintsukuroi And My Broken Strength

Years ago, one of my directors walked into the studio where I was getting set up for my shoot and told me, “Hey, I read something yesterday that made me think of you.” He went on to tell me about the word, “Kintsukuroi.” Kintsukuroi translated means, “golden repair.” I wrote down the word and decided to do my own research on it.

Kintsukuroi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. You can see the repairs, yet the Japanese still find the pieces to be beautiful. Their belief is the Kintsukuroi repair is part of the history of the object, rather than something to hide/cover/disguise.

I don’t know about you, but I, myself, am a Kintsukuroi piece. You cannot necessarily see the gold, silver or platinum, but if you look closely at my heart, you can certainly see where the brokenness was and the new repairs. The broken pieces are part of my history, and they are no longer anything I feel the need to hide/cover/disguise.

“In the whole land, declares the Lord, “two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’” - Zechariah 13:8-9 (NIV)

God brought me into the fire. While I was in the midst of the heat, I did not realize I was being refined like silver and tested like gold.

I dug into this meaning and started reading and researching how gold is tested. Terry painted the word picture best for me. He reminded me how real gold is refined under the heating process, to the point it is melted. The impurities are pulled out of the melted gold in order to make it more precious and precisely what the maker intends it to be.

My heart had to be refined under the fiery heat. It had to be refined and refined and refined; over and over and over. It had to not just be placed under a hot heat, it had to be melted. Completely melted, in order to remove the impurities to make it more precious and precisely what my precious Maker intended it to be.

Through this process, I continued to call on Papa and you know something?

He answered me. He told me I was one of His people. Just as the beautiful song, “Who You Say I Am,” by Hillsong sings, “I am chosen, not forsaken, I am who you say I am. You are for me, not against me, I am who you say I am.”

When I was being broken and melted, there were so many times I felt forsaken. I felt as though my sobs and cries were on mute, and God was not hearing me. But now I see, He was refining me. He was melting me in order to remove the impurities in my heart so I could be what He intended. He needed me to see I was who He says I am. I am chosen, not forsaken.

The next time you find yourself crying and gasping for emotional air; wondering if you have been spiritually broken, remember the image of the Japanese art, Kintsukuroi. God is refining and melting your heart in order to remove the impurities.

When my heart was being refined and to the point of melting, I could only dream of moments like this photo depicts, when I would be so filled with joy and love. My heart had to be broken in order for God’s art to repair the broken pieces; not to hide/cover/disguise it, but to share it. It’s what I can’t wait for you to hopefully soon read about in Broken Strength.