Kintsugi: What is it, and what does it mean for me?




Kintsugi is the Japanese philosophy and practice that encourages the belief that when repaired, broken things are more beautiful than they were before.

This past week (since 1/10/16) I’ve been at the YWAM in Columbus, Wi. I’ll be here for the next 3 months and in April I, along with the rest of the 30-some students/staff  will be headed out of the country for 8 weeks.

This journey, to me, is an internal journey. Yes, I’ve traveled away from home. Yes, I will travel even further in coming months, but none of that matters if I don’t grow as a human being, as a follower of Christ, and as an Artist.

And that is where Kintsugi comes into play.

  • (Human) I am a young man who has struggled with depression, home life hasn’t always been so swell, and I’ve had to cope with low self esteem stemming from a feeling of not fitting in.  It’s taken years but God has healed a great deal of my wounds.  And having been broken, I am more easily able to empathize with those who are or have been. That is a strength, and a blessing. Yesterday (1/15/15) during class, the speaker subtly stressed that we have each “been blessed to be a blessing to others” And all this together reminds me of a verse that has comforted me lately.          “I know the plans I have for you” , says the Lord. “They are plans for Good and not disaster, to give you a future and a hope”  –Jeremiah 29:11    
  • (Follower of Christ) I didn’t always call myself a Christian. Once upon a time I renounced the very idea of my possible identification in Christ. Why? Because nobody could prove to me that Jesus of Nazareth was The Christ, the Son of God, Love Incarnate. In time I realized that it was not other people’s job to prove anything to me. It’s my job to study and learn of the nature of God. And more important than merely studying it, is actually be open to it, receptive. Jesus once told a story to a gathering of people. Long story short there was a farmer who went to plant seeds. He scattered four different crops. The first was flung onto a footpath and birds ate them. The second, upon shallow soil with underlying rock. That seed sprouted fast, but because of the rock under the soil could not establish strong roots, and in the scorching summer sun the sprouting seed withered. The third, among thorns and was quickly choked out. And the fourth fell into fertile soil and when it was time for harvest produced a crop 30x more than had been planted. Jesus then explained the story to his disciples. He said the seed that fell on the footpath is symbolic of those that hear and don’t understand the Word of God, and so when the Devil comes (the bird) they are unprepared to fend him off. The second seed represents those who eagerly receive the Word of God yet don’t let it penetrate their hearts and so when they are tested they can not withstand and succumb. The third seed symbolizes those who take in God’s Word but it’s overcome but the worries of life and is eventually forgotten. The fourth and final seed represents those who hear, heed, and receive the Word, and plant it in their hearts, nourish, and nurture it, that when it manifests, it is fruitful (this can be found Matthew 13).  My goal is to be the 4th seed, though currently, to be honest, I feel more like the second right now. God spoke to me last night through people, and through thought. Someone recalled the story of Cain and Abel and how God asked for an offering that Abel provided as Cain was turned away. It made me realize that God can ask things from us. God and I’s relationship isn’t one way. I said to Him, “Lord, what do you want from me?” and He replied, “Your heart, Matthew.” So in order to properly grow in Him, I must offer up my heart daily and completely.
  • (Artist) I have been writing poetry/spoken word/Hip-Hop songs since I was 16 years old. In that time, that expression has been an important part of my sanity.Having felt bottled up emotionally, being able to express myself needing only a pencil and pad (or an iphone and a Notes app) came in very handy- especially when it felt like I was about to blow. Through Art, of course I want to express myself, but more than that I want others to relate and reflect to and on my Art. I want to plant a seed in your mind. But I can’t do it without guidance and providence and good reception. God is the supreme Creator of which in my Art I can only mimic, hoping to give a sliver of the Life and Hope that He has given. Using my words is how I feel called by God, through a prophet, and it is written-                                                                                          “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.”
    1 Timothy 4:14

So there you have it. Kintsugi. I may not have gone as indepth as necessary for you to quite understand why I chose Kintsugi to be the Word of the Week. Though hopefully I have illustrated to you my brokeness (even if on a very surface level) ,how I have attempted to evolve past it through healing (emotional, spiritual, and artistic), and how I am not a much more beautiful, full human being having suffered and overcome.

Have I been clear enough? I dunno (lol welcome to the inside of my mind, where abstractions and inconclusive thoughts dominate).  Anyways, in later posts there will most likely be a running theme of what God has done with my life in that week, sooo

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