The image of the New Year as a “clean slate” is a popular one this time of year. A New Year represents a clean start and new beginnings, and there is a lot of hope and encouragement in the idea that we have the chance to start fresh and make positive change in our lives. Of course, that’s equally true every morning (and every moment) of every day, but the New Year makes it seem especially so.
However, as the New Year creeps on and we find ourselves dealing with the same hurts, habits, and hang-ups, that “clean slate” doesn’t always feel so clean. Just because the New Year comes, our wounds, brokenness, and messed up – wobbly lifestyle don’t disappear. All the talk of a “clean slate” for the New Year can feel discouraging when the “slate” of your life feels like it’s broken or shattered in pieces.
As I’ve pondered this, I’ve been reminded of a Japanese form of art called Kintsugi. Kintsugi is the “Japanese art of repairing
broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powered gold, silver or platinum…As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to
disguise.” I love that! What a beautiful picture. It’s not a clean slate we need as much as to be repaired into a piece of beauty.
Thankfully for us, our Heavenly Father is in the business of restoring the broken into things of beauty!
“I am making everything new!” Rev 21:5
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Cor. 5:17
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecc 3:11
I hope you are enjoying this New Year and that you embrace the truth that the Father can give you more than a “clean slate” by restoring the broken things of this world and making them even more beautiful than the original.