Grieving Beauty Broken

I'm home with two sick kids today. Poor sweet babes. They aren't feeling well and their emotions are fragile. Ugh, I know I feel this way sometimes even when I'm not sick. Sometimes life is hard or disappointing and you just don't have the energy to deal with it.


My younger son Ben was resting in his room when all of a sudden I hear him screaming at the top of his lungs and sobbing uncontrollably. I quickly go to his room anticipating he's injured or something. He's red in the face and crying because his special rock broke. I try to console him, "Oh buddy, what happened?" He dropped the rock and it split off into several pieces. I hated to tell him but I wasn't something I could really "fix." It would remain broken even if I was able to glue it back together.


I took the two biggest pieces and super glued them together knowing that it wasn't going to be the same. The smoothness and wholeness of the rock was forever altered. Not all the pieces had been found, and even after I've glue the glued pieces it would not be as strong as together. The rock would be more fragile than before.


I wanted to tell him about the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi where they repair broken pottery with gold. The pottery pieces are put back together and the gold highlights the scars of the past. These pieces of pottery are seemingly more beautiful than before, more valuable because they have gold added to them, and their cracks make them special and unique--one of a kind.


Of course this was not going to be the case with the super glue and his rock. I did glue it back together and I brought it to him. I asked him if it was really worth crying over, a broken rock? I thought based on his reaction he was seriously hurt but instead I found him crying over a rock.


He looked at me and said, "But it was beautiful," then he burst into tears again.

I told him, "Oh bud, it's absolutely worth crying when something beautiful is broken."

He really caught me. I had missed the beauty. It really got me thinking about whether we actually do cry when beauty is broken? Do we allow ourselves to really grieve when something truly beautiful is broken? I'm not talking about crying when we crack our iPhone screen or even a special vase that was our grandmother's... I'm talking about are we willing to grieve when we see the beauty in another human being broken and shattered? A person sold for sex, children separated at the border from their parents, a white police officer killing another person of color without cause, a LBGTQ person getting spat at and called hateful names, a child molested by an uncle, a priest, a teacher. ..

Do you see beauty broken and marred? Will you grieve it?

Until we first acknowledge the inherent and God-given beauty in each and every single human being, we will not be able to grieve the brokenness all around us. We must SEE beauty, in each other and in ourselves. Then and only then can we truly grieve for each other and for ourselves. We need this grieving otherwise we will make no effort to change or stop the wreckage from continuing, to stop marring beauty.


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