I want to take a moment to introduce a new ministry that I’m calling “broken and mended” (hence the new domain name for this blog). You can read about the decision to change the focus of this blog and a little about my personal story here or a condensed version on my “about” page here.
One of the challenges I have had with getting started should be one of the simplest tasks of all…choosing a name for my ministry supporting those in chronic pain. I couldn’t come up with anything besides the uninteresting, if informative, “chronic pain support ministry.”
A little flash of inspiration finally came my way from the book Kiss the Wave by David Furman. Furman, who struggles with severe chronic pain and disability, described the Japanese art of Kintsugi as a metaphor for finding meaning in chronic pain. Kintsugi is the art of mending broken pottery by filling the seams of brokenness with gold, silver, or platinum. The result is that the brokenness becomes the most unique and beautiful part of the piece.
That really resonated with me. Maybe it is because I have been to Japan six different times, but I never really noticed Kintsugi before, not particularly anyway. Maybe it was something deeper. I know that I am a better person and better minister
because of my struggle with chronic pain. It is in that brokenness that I have experienced God’s mending. In that mending, God’s beauty shines through.
I wouldn’t choose this disease. You probably wouldn’t choose yours either. But I also couldn’t imagine trading what I’ve gained in my relationship with God or the ability he has given me to empathize with the suffering of others. My pain humbles me and forces me to depend on God much more. And when anyone talks about hurting every day, I experience deep emotions for the sake of that person that I could have never experienced before.
No one chooses to be broken when it comes to chronic pain, but God mends that brokenness into something even more beautiful. How has God’s mending shown up in your brokenness?