Beauty within brokeness
My seven year old son has struggled with seeing his mum go through grief. For him his biggest experience of death has been his hamster dying. Whilst I have tried to protect him from the realities of all I am feeling, there is also a sense that it is important for him to understand that life is made up of many moments, moments of celebration and joy, moments of laughter but also moments of sadness. There is in life a time for everything:
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.”
Each of the moments represented here are moments of real feeling, emotions, times of joy and times of pain. That’s the reality of life, it’s a mixture of joy and moments of pain. Often we are good at celebrating the good but when it comes to the bad we want to hide it away, keep it under lock and key. We don’t want to show people the messy bits. Real life is when we can share both.
“He has made everything beautiful in its time” – Ecclesiastes 3:11
God can make difficult things beautiful as well as the good things. If we allow ourselves to come to God the difficult moments that we go through in life can become beautiful. That is what I want my son to know.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold. When pottery is broken rather than trying to hide the brokenness away they make the brokenness a feature of the piece by repairing it with gold. In doing this they don’t try to erase the past but instead make the broken part the most valuable part of the piece.
That’s what God can do with those broken parts that we try to hide away. He can restore them and make them beautiful and strong. He makes what is frail in us strong in him. So whilst my son’s first real experience of grief is hard for him to understand, and painful for him to see, I also want him to see the way that God can turn something difficult into something beautiful. I want him to learn to celebrate life in all its fulness.
I also want him to learn that whatever season of life we are in that we can live with security –
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8-38-39
So the example I want to give my son is one that is based on real, secure, life changing relationship with the God who restores and transforms whatever season of life that I am in. I want him to see that gold that he has already poured into my life and the gold that is yet to come.