While visiting the charming Cotswold area of England, I purchased some bone china mugs as souvenirs. I used them carefully, but eventually one fell into the sink and shattered. I thought about that mug recently when I learned about the Japanese art of Kintsugi.

Usually when something breaks we are happy to repair it enough to make it functional again. But several hundred years ago, a Japanese artist decided he would make broken china beautiful. So he started using golden resin to hold the fragments together. Pieces repaired by using his method have intricate veins of gold.

Early in the human story, sin entered the world (Gen. 3). Theologians refer to the event as “the fall.” The inevitable result is brokenness. Life is painful because we keep getting hurt and hurting others with our sharp, jagged edges. But God doesn’t want us to stay broken, and His repair work turns our brokenness into beauty.

Like a Kintsugi artist, God repairs us. But He uses something more precious than gold—the blood of His Son. Instead of having veins of gold, we are united by the very veins of Christ. “We have been united together in the likeness of His death” (Rom. 6:5). Nothing is more beautiful than that.