Restored to Perfection

by: Joan Meyler

On one of my recent travels, I took along a cup to remind me of home. Why a cup, you ask? Well, the intent was to take something meaningful but not bulky. Something practical that would make me less homesick while reminding me of the love of family and friends I had left behind. With each use of this simple yet significant object I connected with loved ones daily.  This connection would soon be tested. You see, one morning as I prepared to make my usual cup of tea, the cup slipped my hand and went crashing to the floor. Surprise, disappointment and concern filled me.
“How badly broken is it? Can I repair it?” “Is it still usable?” Floated through my mind as I gathered the pieces from the hard, concrete floor. Picking up the broken cup I considered the task ahead of me.  The Japanese must have also had similar experiences. Several thousand years ago, they created the art of Kintsugi. The philosophy of this art form is to repair the broken object by incorporating the damage into the aesthetic of the restored item.  To do so, they apply a mixture of lacquer resin, powdered gold, silver, platinum, copper or bronze, resulting into something more beautiful and more valuable than the original.

broken heart image

Looking at the pieces of ceramics spread on my table, I am reminded of the times I have found myself broken and in places I shouldn’t be; places of worry, anxiety, fear, distrust, etc.  Maybe you have also been in those places and have wondered if you could be restored to wholeness. Jeremiah 30:17 tells us that in sickness, God restores our health. When we have lost all, Joel 2:25-26 reminds us that our years of want and neglect will be restored to the point of satisfaction.  During those times when we are without joy, God gently restores the joy of our salvation and upholds us with a willing spirit. God’s restorative process may take us through the fire but on the other side our cracks and broken spaces are filled with the blood of Christ and we become restored testimonials of God’s love and faithfulness, more precious than gold, silver, platinum, copper or bronze.

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Seekers

By: Joan Meyler

I have three suitcases packed. There are books, clothing, miscellaneous items scattered over every available piece of furniture in my bedroom. As I survey the chaotic scene in front of me, I realize something is missing. I struggle to recall everything I have packed. Yet, I know something is missing. I just cannot think of what it could be. Hurriedly, I create a clear space on my bed, grabbed suitcase number one, and struggled to get it on the bed. I unzip it and dump its contents unceremoniously in the cleared space. I glance at my typed packing list, “Nope, not there,” I say to the room before meticulously repacking number one. “Move on to number two,” I say aloud, even though I’m by myself.

Number two is even heavier than number one. “What do you have in there?” screams my arms as I lift the behemoth. “Be in here!” I say to the object of my desire. I take a little more time unpacking number two, checking every item against the three-page packing list.

Again, my search leaves me unfulfilled. Sighing, I am a little more deliberate with repacking as I ponder each item returning to the now empty suitcase. Somethings didn’t make back.  They lay forlornly on the bed as if pleading to rejoin their friends in suitcase number two. Surely it MUST be in suitcase number three, the beautiful black weekend bag I planned to keep close to me while numbers one and two travelled with the checked bags of my fellow travelers.

As I removed things I thought vital to my survival, my thoughts turned to the way we sometimes address our life. How many times do we go through life attempting to find or obtain something we know is missing? Looking at packing lists of jobs, churches, friends, etc. to fill the void in our heart. Unlike the widow in Luke 15:8-10, we don’t know what we are looking for. We just know there is an emptiness that needs to be filled. Jacob, in Genesis 32 had a void he did not recognize yet had spent his life trying to fill. It was not until he wrestled with the God at Peniel that he realized that there was something he did not have – the true blessing that comes from a relationship with God expressed through honest relationships with others. We fill our lives with things and label ourselves Christians, Disciples of Christ, etc. outwardly yet we remain unfulfilled.

Jacob had sent his family, servants and the display of his wealth ahead leaving him alone with himself. It was in this time of aloneness and silence that he came to see himself as he was and recognized his need for a deeper more satisfying relationship with God. It was then that he pleaded with God to fill the void of his life.  Might I suggest that you (and I) dear friend look belong our possessions, jobs, relationships and tenaciously seek God in the silence of our soul and allow Him to make us a visible expression of the fulfillment that comes from His relationship with us.