Creating a Masterpiece from Brokenness

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18) 

Our Broken Nature

As humans, we long for completeness, we avoid pain and the things that may create anxiety in us. Despite this avoidance, completeness, this side of heaven, is an impossible feat. We live in a world in which human nature is a broken nature. We do not have completeness in our jobs, our families, or our daily lives. For some, this incompleteness becomes a valley.  It is dark for some time and then we are able to see light again. For others, brokenness is a daily experience in the forefront of the mind due to events that have occurred in the form of trauma, loss, and tragedy. In both instances, avoidance happens, brokenness is pushed down, ignored or fought against. In each scenario, there can be a lack of wanting to accept the broken pieces. These pieces become dark, jagged, sharp and they settle in our souls.

For many of the clients I sit with, these pieces become feelings of shame, guilt, depression, fear, and anxiety. These are some of the most challenging moments in therapy – to have a person feel shattered, with all their pieces on the floor, as a broken piece of pottery longing to be complete and whole.


Hope for Restoration

I recently came across a type of art that incorporates brokenness as something that is beautiful. Kintsugi, also known as “golden repair,” is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold.  It treats breakage and the repair of this breakage as a part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise or hide. When I think about what this form of art is attempting to do – taking broken pieces and creating beauty from the pieces, I think of how God sees us and how he is shaping us. Yes, He allows the pieces to be broken and He is allowing for a recreation of these pieces to be put together and become even more marvelous. When we trust the Lord, we can believe that he is “making everything beautiful in its own time” (Ecc.3:11). Not only does this become a piece of beauty, but these broken pieces of the object become a history of the object, not something to disguise or hide. I love this because there is no shame in the brokenness. The pieces become part of the history; they are to be a part of the bigger picture. This is the beauty of restoration – that God sees the broken pieces, builds them into a beautiful piece of art and loves the end piece. We are in this broken life together with a Savior that not only sees the broken pieces, but is putting them together, and in the end “we will emerge as pure gold” (Job 23:10).

“God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength.” — unknown

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Callie Aswegen, LPC is an Individual and Family Therapist at Timberline Knolls in Lemont, IL.

Author: Callie Aswegen

Tags: Brokenness, Restoration, Faith, Timberline Knolls

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