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, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Bridge Refugee Services Receives Support From Latter-Day Saint Charities

Inner Peace Church To Celebrate 15th Pastoral Anniversary July 28

Hawkinsville Missionary Baptist Church Honors Dr. And Mrs. Bobby Hampton For 35 Years Of Service


Latter-day Saints Charities is a world-wide humanitarian organization that focuses on self-reliance and partners with other charitable organizations and governments, including UNICEF, the Red ... (click for more)

Inner Peace Church, 2125 Tunnel Blvd. in Chattanooga, will be honoring Pastor Ron L. and Lady Missie King, Sr. for their 15 years of pastoral service for Inner Peace Church and the community ... (click for more)

Hawkinsville Missionary Baptist Church will be honoring Dr. and Mrs. Bobby L. Hampton, Sr. for their 35 years of pastoral and community service for Hawkinsville Missionary Baptist Church and ... (click for more)


Church

Bridge Refugee Services Receives Support From Latter-Day Saint Charities

Latter-day Saints Charities is a world-wide humanitarian organization that focuses on self-reliance and partners with other charitable organizations and governments, including UNICEF, the Red Cross, Catholic Charities, the World Food Programme, etc., to help those in need. Since 1985, Latter-day Saints Charities has provided assistance “to millions of people in 195 countries.” ... (click for more)

Inner Peace Church To Celebrate 15th Pastoral Anniversary July 28

Inner Peace Church, 2125 Tunnel Blvd. in Chattanooga, will be honoring Pastor Ron L. and Lady Missie King, Sr. for their 15 years of pastoral service for Inner Peace Church and the community on Pastoral Appreciation Day, Sunday, July 28. Sunday school begins at 9:30 a.m.; worship will begin at 11 a.m. The church also has a Wednesday evening bible study at 6:30 p.m. (click for more)

Breaking News

Volkswagen Chattanooga Announces New Members For Leadership Team

A new CEO for Volkswagen Chattanooga was announced on Thursday. Frank Fischer introduced Tom du Plessis to all Chattanooga employees at a team meeting. Also introduced was Burkhard Ulrich, successor to Nicole Koesling, as incoming senior vice president of human resources for the factory. Former Chattanooga finance manager Brent Hinson returns from Volkswagen of America’s headquarters ... (click for more)

Latest County School Budget Cuts Most Student Fees, Adds Literacy Aides; Across-The-Board Increase Stays At 2.5%

County School officials on Thursday presented a revised budget that eliminates most school fees and adds 10 literacy aides. The employee pay increase remains at 2.5 percent - short of the five percent that was included in the initial budget requiring a 34-cent property tax increase. That tax rise was rejected 5--4 by the County Commission. Board member Tucker Pennington put ... (click for more)

Opinion

Senator Alexander's Solution To Surprise Medical Billing Is Worrisome

Senator Lamar Alexander has been promoting the Lower Healthcare Cost Act legislation passed by the Senate HELP committee he chairs earlier this month. There are many provisions in the bill that will work to lower healthcare costs, something that we all want. His solution for surprise medical bills, however causes more problems than it solves. The bill forces physicians to accept ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Cocker Spaniel Story

Back during the spring, I got word about a book entitled “The White House Boys” and was urged to read it. A friend told me she felt like author Roger Dean Kiser and I shared a similar style in the way we both painted with words. Since then I have happened across several articles penned by Mr. Kiser and I can’t imagine being more humbled or grateful that our names have appeared in ... (click for more)