But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2 Corinthians 4:7, ESV)
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold-infused glue. After this transformation, the value is not in its beauty but in its imperfections and broken places. The technique highlights the inevitable scars instead of hiding them. As the pieces of the bowl become repaired, the broken but beautiful is exposed in glistening gold.
We, like pottery, can become stronger, more resilient and more beautiful through our grief and sorrow. The Japanese art of Kintsugi shows we can be broken but beautiful in grief.
On my most challenging days, after my son’s suicide, I felt the desire to break things. I didn’t, but I wanted to. After learning about Kintsugi, I realized the benefit of the process of restoring what is broken. Crushed and only a shadow of my former self, I needed restoration. For me, restoration started with my faith.
My faith assures me that God is our Redeemer, the One who stands with us in our deepest pain and holds us in our grief. Running to Him is the first step in healing our sorrow-filled hearts.
In His embrace, we can:
- feel securely held;
- pour out all our heartache and ask every question;
- let go of our insecurities;
- trust God to bring the shattered pieces together again;
- know God is the solid rock on which we stand;
- believe and accept we are loved and valued—scars and all.
Of course, it’s easy to say these things, but how do we begin?
In my grief, I sank deep into despair. I held so many questions with no answers. I saw so much anguish in the eyes of my loved ones. I felt so much emptiness in every cell of my being. Drowning, I needed to come up for air.
My Bible became my lifeline to the God Who Sees. It’s the place of truth, healing, grace, mercy, lament and hope. Jesus met me there, gently gathered me into His loving embrace, and with great care, brought healing where I thought there could be none.
It is in our trials—our greatest need—that we find our Savior with His arms wide open, ready to receive us in our brokenness. He pleads with the Father on our behalf, collects our tears in a bottle, sings over us, and walks with us through our valleys (Hebrews 7:25, Psalm 56:8, Zephaniah 3:17, Psalm 23:4 ESV).
He is for us.
When life throws us its worst, and we are a crumpled heap on the bathroom floor, we can have confidence in His truth. He’s in the mess with us, even when we can’t feel it, even when we might not believe it.
We can stand on the Word of God and soak it in to saturate our souls with His goodness. These scriptures minister to me on my darkest days.
The Lord is always with us. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, ESV).
He is compassionate and kind. “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you” (Isaiah 54:10, ESV).
God will help us. “fear not, for I am with you;be not dismayed, for I am your God;I will strengthen you, I will help you,I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10, ESV).
He loves us deeply. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39, ESV).
He is faithful. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23, ESV).
Our Father offers joy, peace, and hope. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Romans 15:13, ESV).
He will fight for us. “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (Exodus 14:14, ESV).
After saying our tearful goodbyes at the grave, we wonder how to—and hardly believe we can—move forward. Yet, God makes a way with hope. We can’t see far down the path, only just ahead; it’s all we can handle.
We must depend on the Lord to guide our way along the journey, trusting Him to light our path step by step, day by day.
God is gentle with our broken hearts and tender toward us, His children. He cares for us and lovingly tends to our wounds, so in time, our scars will tell of His mercy and grace.
Like the bowl repaired through the Japanese art of Kintsugi, our scars are made beautiful by the One who created us.
Faith Griffin Sims is a wife, mom of six and “Mia” to 17 grandchildren. She writes about grief, suicide loss and living with hope. She began a local chapter of Survivors of Suicide (SOS), recently earned a certificate in grief education, has contributed to several books and websites, and is writing a book. Faithgriffinsims.com IG @faithgriffinsims
*This page contains affiliate links of some of our favorites. You can find our full disclosure policy here.