Why a Touch of Wabi-Sabi Might Be Good, But Not Enough
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“You wearied yourself by such going about, but you would not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewal of your strength, and so you did not faint.”– Isaiah 57:10 (NIV)
A friend of mine sent me an article that contained a list of 7 cultural concepts that could benefit the American people (http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/7-cultural-concepts-we-dont-have-in-the-us). There were some pretty good ideas that really would be beneficial, but one in particular stood out to me above the rest.
That idea was entitled “Wabi-Sabi” and it sounds delicious!
Ok, it’s not edible, but it does sound good doesn’t it? Go to a restaurant and see if they have it on the menu.
In all seriousness, the article states that “Wabi-Sabi is the Japanese idea of embracing the imperfect, of celebrating the worn, the cracked…both as a decorative concept and a spiritual one-it’s an acceptance of the toll life takes on us all.”
The brokenness in life, the pain we carry, the hurt we feel, and all other experiences in life are a part of Wabi-Sabi. The things that weigh us down and have worn us out are all included in this Wabi-Sabi. Doesn’t sound so good anymore does it?
I like the concept of Wabi-Sabi. It is an acceptance of who we are as broken people living in an imperfect world. The struggle we all face, some on different levels than others, but struggle nonetheless.
We live it. We hold on to it. However, in some Christian circles, we can’t embrace it. We are afraid to share the struggle. We are afraid to be honest about our pain. We live in a constant tension over whom we are with our experiences and who the Church might be expecting us to be.
Christ came to live and walk with those living in Wabi-Sabi. People who had been oppressed and beaten down in life; shut down by a system designed to limit their potential; and walking in a life of despair.
Christ was willing to embrace their acceptance of their broken life, but He wouldn’t settle for it. He was ready to hear their honest cries for help, but He didn’t let the cries go without action. This is why we know Wabi-Sabi isn’t enough to satisfy the appetite.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”– (Matthew 11:28-30;NIV)
His message was one of peace, rest, and restoration. He recognized we will have heavy loads to carry thanks to the fragmented relationship the creation had with their Creator, but His back was strong enough to carry our load all the way to Calvary!
Wabi-Sabi is important for us as we review our life and look over the things that have influenced or shaped our worldview and/or our self-perception. However, Christ beckons us to move beyond the acceptance of the worn into the recognition of renewal in Him.
We all have Wabi-Sabi, and it is important to acknowledge, but we all have a Savior who came to relieve and redeem us to become new through His work on the cross.
Wabi-Sabi may not be on the menu, but it is on the server and the other patrons sitting around you.
They need to hear it’s good, but Christ has come to make it better!
QUESTION: What burden have you accepted as “life” that God is calling you to release to His Son on the cross?