Phyllis Beveridge Nissila
Kintsugi, or “golden joinery,” is the 500-year-old Japanese craft of restoring broken cups, saucers, and bowls “with a lacquer that is mixed with gold, silver, or platinum.” (source)
The craft is not merely for upcycling, however, although part of the philosophy behind it is to preserve, instead of discard, broken things. In the Japanese culture it has spiritual and philosophical significance as well.
According to kintsugi crafsman Muneaki Shimode featured in an explanatory video embedded in the article for makezine.com by Sophie Smith linked above, “it’s very important that we understand the spiritual backgrounds or the history behind…the material.” This incorporates the philosophy of wabi-sabi which means “to find beauties in broken things or old things.”
This reminds me of how God restores us.
When we entrust the broken, discarded parts of ourselves to the Craftsman of craftsmen, He restores us to something beautiful, too, and of more valuable than the original.
Only what God applies to our broken lives, bodies, minds, and/or spirits isn’t the prized metal of the world, but the mettle, if you will, of His Son, Jesus, by Whose shed blood on the cross we are not only redeemed but also restored and transformed into the image of Christ as we place ourselves in the Master’s hands.
It also reminds me of the chorus of an old song by Bill Gaither:
Image of kintsugi project from makezine.com article by Sophie Smith also cited above.