We all shudder at the sound of something breaking, don’t we? We can’t help but wince when we hear glass or crockery shattering into pieces on the floor.
Why do we have that involuntary reaction? Because we know that the object probably can’t be repaired: it’s likely to be damaged irreparably, and must be thrown away.
We’re wincing at the sound of loss.
But what if there were a way to not only put the pieces back together, but to make the object more beautiful than it was before, despite the breaks?
The Japanese long ago invented a way of doing just that, and have even made an art form of it. It’s called “Kintsugi,” which means “golden joinery.” The process involves mending the cracks in pottery with gold lacquer. Instead of trying to hide the damaged areas, they are instead highlighted with something precious. The end result is a restored piece of pottery that is beautiful at the broken places.
But what happens if it’s not a piece of pottery that is broken, but a life? How can a shattered heart be put back together?
For those of us who are regular church-goers, the cessation of regular worship gatherings due to the coronavirus has been wrenching.
With churches shuttered temporarily, the children’s and youth activities, Bible studies, and men’s and women’s groups that they housed have had to close down along with them. Sure, some churches have switched to live-streamed Sunday services and online gatherings, but we’re not able to meet in person to worship or fellowship like we used to.
We probably feel a little hard done by, don’t we?
But there’s one group of Christians for whom these sorts of restrictions have long been an all too familiar reality: