The Japanese art of Kintsugi, illustrated here, highlights brokenness as a kind of natural beauty. Within the imperfections, there are blessings to be had. In a year of so much brokenness, it may seem impossible to imagine any blessings at all. But they are here. After each of the mass shootings in the last several weeks, communities came together to share in the grief and their anger, and forge it into love and compassion. This is Kintsugi.
Kintsugi is a representation of Wabi-Sabi, roughly translated as finding blessings and beauty in objects and life experiences that are simple and imperfect. As the African American Art Historian Richard Powell writes: “Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”
So it is with us and our congregation. Last Saturday around fifty of us gathered for a listening circle to hear our feelings about our beloved community. Anger, anguish, grief, and hope were all expressed openly and bravely. As I listened to each person speak, I saw a Kintsugi of shared community being created. We were painting gold in the cracks of our lives. Nothing was resolved. Much deep work needs to be done. But there in our sanctuary on a beautiful spring day, our brokenness as people and a congregation were made blessed and sacred. I am deeply thankful to our Pastoral Care Chaplains led by Rev. Jim Francek, our Community Minister for Pastoral Care, for taking this important first step.
This coming Sunday, my last until the fall, I will be preaching on the Blessings of Brokenness. Thanks to Martha Constable – who won a sermon topic of her choice at our auction before the pandemic – for bringing this topic to us. Reflecting on my habit of collecting “heart stones” on the beach, Martha finds stones that have a vein of another rock, such as quartz, that runs through them. I hope you will join us in person or online for this worship experience. Our Annual Meeting will follow the service.
As one wise elder once taught me, “Life is a road. Sometimes the road is easy. Sometimes the road is hard. But it’s still the same road. Love the journey, no matter how many rocks you find.”
Yours always, Rev. John