I don’t tend to be a collector of things. The exceptions to the rule are books and movies (because they’re windows to new worlds [she tells herself in denial!]) Though there’s a few possessions that mean a great deal to me because of the sentiment attached. When my grandmother died in 2013 after struggling with ALS for three years, we were all devastated. My grandfather decided that the rings Grandma owned would go to their five granddaughters. Grandpa thought about which granddaughter should receive which ring and he chose a diamond ring for me. It’s a ring that my grandma hardly ever took off, though it wasn’t her engagement ring or wedding ring. In fact, Grandpa couldn’t for the life of him remember where it came from! It’s the ring I loved as a child and I wear it almost every day. Even though it’s mine now, it will always be “Grandma’s ring” and worth far more than any jeweler could ever appraise.
Recently Grandma’s ring caught on something in an odd way. I ran my finger over it and examined the band in the light and noticed a crack! Lord knows how old this ring is and the gold band is pretty thin. It ends up that cracked rings aren’t that uncommon or hard to fix. Thankfully! Though one item that we might think wouldn’t get easily fixed is broken pottery. Sometimes things appear to be broken beyond repair. Except they aren’t. The Japanese have this art form called kintsugi (golden repair) where broken pottery pieces are put back together with gold. Instead of just throwing that broken item away or even repairing it so that it’s like new, the technique highlights the scars as part of the design. In the process of repairing the pottery, something more unique and resilient is created!
I don’t think that anybody’s perfect. There are parts of ourselves that are cracked and broken—because of past experiences, because of losses and grief, because of various aspects of ourselves that aren’t always pretty if we’re honest. Yet, we can become strong in those broken places when love and light are poured in to mend us. It’s like Leonard Cohen sang, “Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
In the end, Grandma’s ring was mended this week. And here’s hoping that the ring will be even stronger in the future because addressing that crack actually helped reinforce the whole band. Just like God’s love can mend the broken pieces of our lives and make something truly beautiful.
(This Week’s Thoughts 11.1.18)