Bob Tamasy: Blessings From Brokenness

Monday, June 24, 2019 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Have you heard of Kintsugi? Also known as Kintsukuroi, which means “golden repair,” it’s a centuries-old Japanese art of restoring broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with precious metal, such as gold, silver or platinum. This process is founded in a philosophy that treats breakage and repair as part of the valued object’s history, rather than as something to be disguised.

Interesting, isn’t it? Rather than trying to conceal the breakage, or even discarding the damaged object, the broken areas are effectively celebrated by filling them in with gold or silver or platinum. Rather than looking at it and saying or thinking, “What a mess!” we can see how it has been cherished, even to the point of restoration along “fault lines.”

After learning about the Kintsugi tradition, I marveled at how similarly God handles our brokenness and flaws. Each one of us has had experiences that in one way or another have resulted in brokenness. Soldiers returning from war, as well as people who have experienced great trauma, may suffer from PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). But even those of us who haven’t encountered such extreme events know how it feels to be broken.

Coming from dysfunctional families (which includes all of us, in one sense or another); divorce; betrayal; abuse; times of great failure; shattered dreams. The list could go on, but not one of us gets through this life intact and undamaged by life’s challenges and storms. Yet so often those become the times when God grabs our attention and does some of His best work.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible, Psalm 51:17, in which a beleaguered King David wrote with humility, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” We typically think of “sacrifice” in terms of giving up something, or perhaps making an extravagant material gift. But here it says the sacrifice the Lord values most is “a broken spirit.”

This theme occurs over and over in the Scriptures, examples of people whose pride – we might call it bravado, hubris or even “chutzpah” – has become shattered when circumstances spiraled out of their control. They come to the end of themselves, and in so doing discover they have finally arrived at the beginning of God. Many of God’s prophets acknowledged this truth.

Samuel declared, Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, obedience is better than sacrifice, and attentiveness is better than the fat of rams(1 Samuel 15:22). The prophet Isaiah said,For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and humble of spirit, to restore the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the contrite” (Isaiah 57:15).

The prophet Joel asserted, “So rend your hearts and not your garments, and return to the LORD your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, and abounding in loving devotion” (Joel 2:13). Many other examples could be cited.

Our culture values self-sufficiency, the proverbial “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” approach. God doesn’t value that. Jesus emphasized it when He declared, “I am the vine, you are the branches…apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). And the apostle Paul acknowledged this when he said, “I can do everything through him (Jesus) who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

“Do it yourself” shouldn’t be part of a follower of Christ’s vocabulary. Rather, we should remember – from the moment we awaken each day to the moment we return to bed – that our secret to a successful life as His ambassadors is “do it through Jesus.”

As for the many times we’ve experienced brokenness, struggles and pain, remember God is always at work in applying His own version of the Kintsugi process, filling in the gaps and cracks with His truth and promises, “flawless, like silver refined in a furnace, like gold purified sevenfold(Psalm 12:6).

- - - -

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog,, or his website (now being completed), He can be emailed at

Kordin Hatch Completes 2-Year Mission

2nd Missionary Baptist Church Celebrates 74th Women’s Day

Get It Back To You Is Topic At Metro Tab Church Sunday

Elder Kordin Hatch of Ringgold completed a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in the Colorado Fort Collins Mission including the neighboring cities ... (click for more)

The community is invited to Second Missionary Baptist Church, 2305 E. Third Street, for the 74th annual Women’s Day Celebration, on Sunday, Sept. 22. The 8 a.m. guest speaker is Pastor Terryl ... (click for more)

The message at Metro Tab Church on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. will be "Get it Back to You" brought by Dr. Steve Ball, founder and senior pastor. The public is invited to come and enjoy a cup coffee ... (click for more)


Kordin Hatch Completes 2-Year Mission

Elder Kordin Hatch of Ringgold completed a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in the Colorado Fort Collins Mission including the neighboring cities of Cheyenne, Wy.; Loveland and Greeley, Co.; Scottsbluff, Nv.; and Laramie, Wy. Mr. Hatch is the son of Sam and Shauna Hatch, and is the oldest brother to Chayson, Abby, Jadyn, Savannah, ... (click for more)

2nd Missionary Baptist Church Celebrates 74th Women’s Day

The community is invited to Second Missionary Baptist Church, 2305 E. Third Street, for the 74th annual Women’s Day Celebration, on Sunday, Sept. 22. The 8 a.m. guest speaker is Pastor Terryl James, Washington Hills United Methodist Church (UMC), Chattanooga. Pastor James is a native Chattanoogan who serves in several church and civic roles, including the Design Team for Strengthening ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Dr. William Jackson Named Erlanger’s New CEO; Spiegel Gets Year's Salary, Continuing Insurance

During a specially-called meeting of the Erlanger Health System Board of Trustees, Chairman Mike Griffin announced that Chief Medical Officer Dr. William L. Jackson Jr., has been appointed as the health system’s new president and chief executive officer. Also a settlement was reached with former president Kevin Spiegel, who resigned last week under pressure from the board. ... (click for more)

Car Accident On Lee Highway Causes Vehicle To Crash Into Hotel

A car accident on Lee Highway caused a gold van to leave the road, crash into an SUV in a hotel parking lot and then into two hotel rooms, structurally damaging the building. The incident happened just after 3 p.m. Wednesday at the In Town Suites on Lee Highway. Both hotel rooms were empty at the time of the incident. A total of 12 surrounding rooms were evacuated as a precaution. ... (click for more)


Let The Water Company Pay The Bill - And Response

Tennessee American breaks a line and 35,000 people lose water for three days. Well they don’t exactly admit they broke it, they were working on it a few feet away and it just broke….so they say. One half of TAWC service area is out of water three days and nights, hospitals canceling surgery, schools closed and opened and then sending the children home, businesses shut down, government ... (click for more)

Gregg Gentry Says He Was Not At Meeting On Nurse Pay

Regarding Mr. Exum's claim in his Sept. 12 column that Erlanger Chief Administrative Officer Gregg Gentry attended his Sept. 4 meeting with Kevin Spiegel is not accurate. Mr. Gentry said he was not at this meeting. (click for more)