The Broken Bowl

Abuse Survivor, Art, bravery, contentment, courage, Faith, freedom, happy, hope, memoir, Redemption, Stillness, testimony, Trust, Vulnerability, waiting, wisdom, wonder

Over several weeks, I sat at the desk in my art room and pieced together a broken bowl. It had fallen to the counter as I put dishes away at my daughter’s home, a loud crash and pieces and chunks of pretty white with raised polka dots was destroyed.

Instantly, I thought “Here’s your chance, try kintsugi.” (the ancient art of repairing broken pottery with gold)

I laid out the pieces, gathered gorilla glue and thick gold paint and began. It couldn’t be rushed.

It was a thing of patience and phases, requiring me to allow the repair of one section before beginning the next.

Covered in a cloth in case my daughter stopped by, I continued imperfectly because of missing pieces, adding blue from a broken intentionally cup for fill ins and well, just because it was pretty.

Finished, it became a gift to her for Valentine’s Day.

Last week, I heard words that were not new,

“We live in a broken world.”

The pastor added with emphasis in his message on “expectations” and I received the familiar phrase differently.

It was time.

Have you considered yourself broken by life? Maybe you do now. I began to think of other catchy phrases like “broken and beautiful or beautifully broken” and pondered how we can be both.

I sat in the sanctuary between my strong son-in-law and a very large, burly man who sang every word to every song and sighed like a little boy at the passages about God’s love, no condemnation anymore and other promises because of God’s spirit in us.

I thought, “I’m not broken, after all, all along it’s been this world and what it caused others to do to me.”

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:19‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Journaled on Monday:

This world is broken and so, things that happen or happened may determine you to be broken. But remember, you are whole, made whole fully and even more whole and unbroken as you allow yourself to understand the difference. You are not broken. The world still is; but no, you are not broken, not you. Not broken made beautiful as much as simply beautiful, redemptively beautiful, completely so.

To say I’m in need of my Heavenly Father, my Savior, His Spirit in me is not saying I’m broken, it’s more of a humble recognition of my identity now, in light of then.

God caused me to consider self-condemnation in my sleep last night. I’d been thinking of the practice of Lent and intentional changes. God had a better idea, told me what I really needed to let go of is self-condemnation.

The thought danced in my mind all night and I woke to consider it and journaled.

Self-condemnation turns me inward, causes me to fixate on my failures. Self-condemnation is not a healthy or even godly self-assessment. Instead, it’s an obsession with myself in a way that’s tricky, makes you think it’s a companion to humility.

Humility acknowledges with reverence the repaired places you were broken, made new, places you were unable and now have courageous abilities. Humility shines a soft light on the places you were weakened by wrong, but now are allowing yourself to grow strong.

Humility says “thank you”. Self-condemnation says you’ll always be “too far gone”.

Happy Place (detail)

I gifted the bowl and later sent my daughter a note I’d saved in “Notes”.

Kintsugi is the ancient art of fixing broken pottery with gold. … Kintsugi reminds us that something can break and yet still be beautiful, and that, once repaired, it is stronger at the broken places. This is an incredible metaphor for healing and recovery from adversity

Strange gifts from me don’t surprise my children and they know the unspoken truth of most of my gifts being gifts with a deeper meaning. No need for spoken explanations, just hope for little contributions to my legacy of love always.

And hope that I see this bowl, others who pass by or stand in her kitchen pause and maybe take a deep breath and rest assured.

We’re not broken anymore. We are beautiful and slightly imperfect, yet made new.

“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭107:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

5 thoughts on “The Broken Bowl

  1. Amen. What an incredible gift to give your daughter too: your good works shall follow you, even when you’re no longer here, for that love you gifted in Christ Jesus will be so present to your kids.

    YES! We are healed and whole in Jesus 😊. Oh how long it took to begin to know that deep down and I still need continual reminders.

    A visiting teacher to my old church told us all that there is a false humility called pride: condemning ourselves in our sin. That really struck me and has remained with me. Isn’t it so true though? Thinking that our sin and failing is more powerful than our God’s grace, wholeness and love for us. Thinking that we could mess up God’s plan and purpose for us, when He’s a God who perfects His power in weakness and whose thoughts and plans are so above and beyond what we could hope for or imagine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I first saw the title, I was very busy, but knew to flag it for a later read and to make sure I didn’t delete it by mistake. Save this one for the “Best of Lisa Anne” collection.

    Liked by 1 person

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