Should I write about redemption,
     how the “now” one day will be?
Erase before, embrace tomorrow,
     overlook the in-between?
Should I skip straight to the last ending,
     skip past the broken to the mending?
For often “now” is still too sore:
     fragments lying on the floor
Unkindly remind me of something I wrecked,
     something I fought to, yet failed to, protect.

Kintsugi vase, scarred pottery
     crafted with care, meticulously.
Though now back together, the vase had a fall
     and broke, like me the day I’d lost it all.
We thought we were over, no chance to restart,
     what future remains after falling apart?
Vase thinks of its past, I consider mine—
     are these reflections a waste of our time?
Why sift through what was and what could have been?
    But how do we otherwise find what it means?

Why break a vase that seemed perfect and whole?
     What role has fate? Was it destined to fall?
As I look back, I can’t help but wonder,
     was the vase perfect the way I remember?
Maybe there were lumps, some places misshapen,
     maybe the breaking wasn’t a bad thing…
When it hit the floor, a story took form
     amidst clouds of dust, an unforeseen storm.
From clay shards distressed, now doubting their worth,
     never-posed questions began to spill forth.

What can you say and what can you do 
     the day what you cherish is torn from you
Do answers exist? Are we left wanting?
     Fears feeding doubts feed the voices, the taunting:

“Where is your God?” the enemy asks,
     a question not unlike my own.
“Where are You, God?” is my heart’s gasp,
     while drowning underneath unknowns.

Our trial, called light and momentary,
     seems more like year-round January.
Like Narnian winter, it never abates,
     and offers no Christmas to anticipate.
The cold makes me brittle, like the fragile vase,
     hardened and bitter at what we can’t face.

Morning never comes. The sun hides from view.
     Mourning never leaves. The ground’s soaked like dew.
Is there a silver lining? Is gold seeping through,
     reshaping clay shards into something brand new?
No, there’s not. At least, not in this state. 
     Sometimes the fragments just have to wait.


Today, if you hear His voice, 
     don’t let your heart be hardened.
The Master Potter knows firsthand 
     life as clay that has been broken.
See His scars, His proof of how 
     His own creation pierced Him.
Yet still He longs to recreate
     the broken pieces of your vase.
With gold He’ll mend, with care He’ll bind
     til hopeless parts are redefined.

Like kintsugi pottery, 
     breaks and repair form our story.
Redemption will come: though now you feel shattered,
     one day you’ll see how the whole process mattered.

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About the Author

Mindy DeBoer

Mindy works with Power to Change – Students in the francophone ministry. She lives in Montréal, QC, a city she is thrilled to call home. Her apartment contains more instruments than she can play and more books than she can read, because music and the written word create a world where she can glimpse Christ’s worth.

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