Sunday, December 4

An excerpt from the speech, “Kintsugi and Columbines: New Creation in the Aftermath of Trauma” by Makoto Fujimura

In Japan, as you may know, one of the many venerated cultural traditions is the tea ceremony. For centuries, there have been tea masters who perform the tea ceremony to visualize the invisible, as a spiritual and artistic practice. When precious tea bowls break, the families of tea masters will often keep the broken bowls for generations and later have them mended by artisans who use a lavish technique known as Kintsugi. Kintsugi masters mend tea bowls with Japan lacquer and gold. A bowl mended with gold is more valuable than the original tea bowl was before it broke. 

The Japanese word Kin means “gold,” and Tsugi means “mend,” but Tsugi also means “to link the generations together.”  A Kintsugi master would behold the fragments of a broken bowl for a long time before mending it. A Kintsugi bowl has been broken, and mended, but in the process it also has become a New Creation.

You see, when you create and make into the fissures of life — when you rebuild from a devastating fire — when you create, despite scarcity — when you “consider the lilies” (Matthew 6), especially when you are afraid — then God chooses those moments to reveal God’s Presence in our lives. 

We are makers, as our God is our Maker. God did not promise us an easy life, but promised us an abundant one — an abundant life of creativity and imaginative freedom.