Broken Teacups

Broken Teacups

If you are a person who struggles with perfectionism, you are in good company. As a Christian, the perfect standard of Christ is held up most often. I take on the challenge often forgetting that if there was any chance I could be perfect I would not need a Savior. I forget why I accepted Him in the first place—my brokenness.

This is why I want to focus briefly on imperfection as a reminder of the fallen nature that is alive and well in me until I graduate to heaven.

The picture is one of my most prized tea cups. They don’t make them anymore and when it broke, my heart ached. In fact, I didn’t have the heart to throw the pieces out. I held onto them thinking someday I would redeem then into some craft. They were tucked away and forgotten.

Then I friend invited me to a class on Kin-su-key (Japanese for Golden joinery)
I had never heard of this particular skill where artists put broken pottery back together with resin and gold dust to create a new piece of art. I loved the idea and when I searched online and saw photos, I was hooked. I knew what I had been saving that broken tea cup for.

Instead of trying to hide the cracks, the artist draws attention to them. It’s all about embracing the brokenness as part of the history of the item. I saw it as a perfect metaphor of what God wants us to do here on earth. He wants us to be honest about our brokenness and then let His skilled hands use the cracks to make something beautiful.

As a quilter, card maker, and crafter, I have had the joy of teaching others. I find myself repeating the same thing to my students who complain about some perceived flaw or imperfection. I always have to remind them, that those imperfections are what makes their piece unique and hand made.

We live in a throw away, instant gratification world obsessed with a narrow standard of perfection. There is a great deal of frustration when we try to chase the ideal. The perfect family gathering, perfect table, magazine worthy decor and home. The weight of all the images paraded before us on TV can be overwhelming.

So I wondered what would it look like to have a Kin-su-key life where I celebrate the broken places. What if I put the torn, tattered, dusty and rusty on display?

I remembered a dear friend who met with me after my marriage went through a time of brokenness. I was fearful of confessing our cracks. Then she said something that was like cold water “I always thought you had it all together.” In that moment, God showed me the price of trying to appear perfect was to make others feel less than.

Being honest with my struggles, opened a door for authenticity and a deeper friendship.

The more I let my flaws show, it gave others permission to be less than perfect. This became a gift I could give to those I care about. So I invite you to share even a small struggle with someone you trust and see what happens.

After all that is our testimony, we looked into our heart, saw the brokenness and knew we needed a Savior. Christ who came down to a broken world doesn’t cover us with invisible glue, but uses His precious crimson blood, so that when we live authentic and imperfect lives leaning on His grace and truth, the world will notice and see something amazing, different, broken, yet beautifully redeemed.

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