Beloved of God,
We all experience pain in our lives. Sometimes it comes in the form of physical pain: a headache or toothache, a pulled muscle, pain caused by disease, broken bones, and the like. Sometimes it comes from our emotions: hurt feelings, broken hearts, loneliness or emptiness, grief, mental anguish or illness, and the list goes on. Both kinds of pain can potentially take a significant toll on our soul. When we experience pain, we want to make it go away. We want to feel better. We want to mend the wounds and hurts, and fill the empty broken places.
The Japanese have a beautiful art called kintsukuroi, in which they repair broken things with gold or silver. This reflects their understanding that the original item is more beautiful since it has been broken. In this way, the piece is not only restored, but given new life.
We Christians follow One whose body and spirit were broken on a cross on a hill long ago and far away. He knows all of our pains intimately, and He walks with us at all times – especially in our times of pain, helping us through them and mending them in ways we cannot even begin to imagine. He touches us, and fills our various fractures with something better than even gold or silver: with His love. Jesus fills our broken and empty places and offers us hope of new life.
As we enter into these last days of Lent, let us contemplate the ways in which we experience pain and brokenness. Let us remember the myriad ways in which our Lord Jesus Christ comes to us in the depths, filling our pain with His healing grace and mercy. And let us know and trust that He leads us through the valley of the shadow of pain and death into new and abundant and beautiful life.
Yours on the Journey,