So we do not lose heart.

kintsugi-heart
Kintsugi (Japanese: golden joinery) is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. As a philosophy it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

But we do lose heart and it’s so easy to do in this life. The pain, suffering, disappointment, anxiety, time constraints, busy-ness of life, all contribute to our losing heart. The Apostle Paul is responding to his previous comments in his second letter to the church community he started in Corinth, when he says, “But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;” (2Cor4:7-9). To not be crushed, driven to despair, feel forsaken or struck down means we have been able to tranform the pain and suffering, disappointments, hurts, and wounds of life into something life giving, rather than soul crushing.  We pull the pieces of our broken clay jars together, heal our wounds with help from our relationship with God, our partnership with Jesus, and the people that we are blessed to be in community with, walk this life journey with. Those people who have, as shame and vulnerability researcher Brené Brown says, earned the right to hear our story. What we human beings have in common is our woundedness, our brokenness. What we don’t have in common is our willingness to let our cracks and brokenness show. Our true beauty and the spirit of the Divine, the extraordinary power of God,  shines through those cracks that have been glued back together with love we muster up for ourselves, our belovedness that is inherently ours, and the love we experience in relationship with others.  So we do not lose heart, we press on, gathering our broken pieces, gluing them together, and pressing on.