Beautifully broken


Unless you speak Japanese that word won’t make much sense… but this rather strange word actually means something really beautiful.

Kintsukuroi is the Japanese art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer so it’s more beautiful for being broken. Give it a Google – there are some beautiful examples online and, one day, I’d love to buy a piece.

I love the concept that kintsukuroi treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise, because it makes me think of our lives.

What parts of ourselves do we consider broken or try to hide from others? How often do we think badly of ourselves, or something we’ve done in the past? Do we think we can’t be of use to others for some reason?

Over the years I’ve done plenty of things I’m not proud of – from saying a harsh word to someone to cheating on a boyfriend by kissing someone else and much, much more. These are my broken parts – the parts I’d like to edit out and forget.

But I’ve learnt from these experiences – these broken parts have made me who I am; much like the breakage and repair of a kintsukuroi ceramic pot makes it part of it’s history. What about you? What past experiences, good or bad, have shaped you?

I’ve learnt to live with and accept that we all have broken parts and, as a Christian, I believe that God is the gold or silver lacquer that sticks me back together. He can use my flaws and my brokenness to make a difference in the lives of those around me. He knows the best and worst about me and loves me the same.

Written by Catherine Burt

Catherine is Assistant Director
and Communications Manager at
Girls’ Brigade Ministries​. She lives
in Portsmouth and out of work
likes walking along the seafront,
spending time with her pet guinea
pigs and fun debates at her book club.​

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