Beautiful Imperfection…From Broken Pottery to Treasured Vessel



“We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That’s what connects us–that we’re all broken, all beautifully imperfect.”

― Emilio Estevez

It is a curious sensation: the sort of pain that goes mercifully beyond our powers of feeling. When you’re so bent and broken, your boats are burned: nothing really matters any more.

And then all of a sudden love that you thought was lost reaches down and you find that this place you were in is not so much the end of happiness as the beginning of peace. It is the greatest of struggles that produces the sweetest of victories. The sweetest of these being the restoration of what was once thought broken beyond all hope.

There are two ways to restore broken pottery. The ancient Eastern traders developed a method of reassembling the broken vase and “waxing over” the cracks in a manner that could deceive the unsuspecting customer. Only long after the trader had moved on was the vase tested by either heat or light and found to be marred and useless. On the other hand, the Japanese have a tradition of artfully repairing damaged objects known as Kintsugi a method of fixing broken pottery with a lacquer resin sprinkled with powdered gold.

You restore a broken vessel by trying to repair the break seamlessly, making the break invisible, or by highlighting the damaged part, calling attention to the damage, yet creating out of that damaged piece something as or even more valuable than before.  The Japanese believe such repair gives honor to the piece’s history. “Something beautiful, something good, all my transgressions, He understood. All I had to offer Him, was brokenness and strife, but He made something, beautiful of my life”

For most of us, brokenness is a part of our story. Just as in broken pottery, we can never make it completely disappear. We can try to patch it and hide it by “waxing it over”, but at some point it will be exposed for what it is and may end up hurting ourselves and others all over again…or we can come just as we are in full surrender to the Divine Potter who will create a new piece, as only He can do, into something of far greater value than before it was broken.

Knowing God as my Father as I now do has taught me to see the potential that exists within every one of us to be transformed, not by discarding or “waxing over” the broken pieces of our lives, but by taking those broken shards and recreating them into a piece of unimaginable character and beauty. We don’t need to look too far to find evidence of our wreckage hidden beneath denial and depression.

There are so many broken vessels, expecting to be rejected and discarded the way the world and satan do, yet desperately hoping and wishing for something more substantial than the quick fix that most have become so accustomed to. In my short journey along this rediscovered pathway to the life God intended for me all along, I have learned some amazing life changing truths that are worth sharing. They have proven to be so much more than the empty, trite advice of the many amateur providences who love to see us get ahead in life, as long as it’s not ahead of them, and more lasting than the psycho-babble and self medication which at the end of the day only served to bring me down deeper into pain and despair.

That One Thing

My quest now is to dig deep and find that one thing that I believe I was created for. That God-given purpose that deep down has always fired me up…my primal cause. My reason for being. We all have it, but so few find it because of the distractions along the way…the shiny objects along life’s pathway, the secondary causes that show up disguised as urgent and important and the present traps the enemy sets for us based upon our broken past experiences …all of these are his tactics to steal, kill and destroy. But we are bigger and better not because of who we are, but in spite of who we are because of the one that permanently abides in me. There are many great things that have come to pass out of the most painful circumstances and greatest sadness, but how crazy it would be to not separate those events from the resultant prize? We must always remember that God is who He says he is and he does what he says he will do, but he will never override your personal choice. The key is to examine every path on the basis of pleasing ONLY him and you WILL find that one thing. We all want that whether we now know it or not and when it eludes us we are incomplete, frustrated and just plain miserable.

Yet for some reason, we would rather endure the price of the pain and struggle of that misalignment than the lesser pain of change.

If we knew, without a doubt, the priceless rewards of a full engagement with our purpose would we not risk our very life for it, yet alone the reputation, acceptance, and approval of peers, or even personal comfort? One of my mentors reminds me that very often it takes the pain of staying the same to become greater than the pain of change before we will do anything about it.

Most of the time we don’t have the best in life because we think it’s too costly. Or we don’t think it through well enough to realize the benefits. Or, we engage in negative self-talk about our purpose that is simply not true. Usually negative thoughts about failure and struggle and so forth. The bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” We must be very careful about what we think. Thoughts have a presence. They find a home. They will always be felt by those around you and will have an impact on your success or failure in life.

You may remember the place in the Bible called Kadesh Barnea.

If you read the book of Numbers, its the story of the Israelites being delivered from Egypt and being guided by God through the wilderness to the Promised Land, Canaan. They saw miracle after miracle. They knew God was with them. When they arrived at Kadesh Barnea God said “go take your victory. This is the land I’ve promised you. I will go with you.” But they did not have faith…… They doubted. They let negativity, discouragement, fear, change, all that stuff get the better of them and so they sent someone in to check it out.

God had heard the people’s incessant murmuring… God had plans for them, yet they would rather have the security of bondage than to step out into the unknown and follow Gods leading….

The result was that He sent them aimlessly wandering in the desert and out of about 2 million people only the two believers, Joshua and Caleb lived to fulfill their dream and Gods promise in the land of Canaan.

The opportunity was stolen from the majority by rumor, hearsay, and popular opinion.

This may be your Kadesh Barnea moment. It’s time to go out with courage and take a hold of all the promises that are yours and to make your name great for the glory of God. To pursue a Matthew 5:16 life with courage…to be separated from the herd…to swim upstream…to be the original that God created you to be. You’re created in His image with a hope and a future. Be proud of it and get it done!

So, when all is said and done. perfect  peace comes not from the absence of struggle, pain, and brokenness, but from the blessed assurance that in our imperfections there is nothing, absolutely nothing that can separate us from such perfect love as His. Our imperfections and brokenness, when they are seen as trophies of a magnificent journey and are embellished with the gold dust of divine restoration will become trophies of grace and testimonies of victory across the stages of LIFE. Kintsugi!

Romans 8:31 (MSG)

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger?….. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Category: Just Sayin'
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One Response
  1. Monique says:

    Excellently done! God bless you

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