God calls each of us to be a ‘Repairer of the breach’; to fix what is broken, to put things right where we can. The Japanese call this Kintsugi, where the fixed is even more beautiful than the broken… Al Gibson shares insights from personal experience about the God of reconciliation who loves to restore us and set us on a firm footing so we in turn can do the same for others.
We live in a world that is as beautiful as it is broken. There are majestic panoramas to be seen, just as there is pain and suffering we cannot ignore. There was a time when things seemed to last forever yet nowadays we know that the next, super-improved model will be along soon. Technological advances have come in tandem with planned obsolescence. So, things quickly lose their value. But what about our value as people?
None of us are made to last forever, but we do retain our value throughout our lives even though it may seem to diminish in the eyes of others. In God’s eyes we are equally precious and He has given each of us a unique gift or talent to equip us to reach our life calling. He has given us the ability to make a difference in some way as we search for the meaning of life. These gifts are given whether we believe in Him or not and it’s our task to develop them to find our significance and place in the world.
You may have a way with words or can sing like nobody else can. Every person has something unique to them that they excel at. We can all make a difference in both big and small ways. And, often it is in the small things that we learn big lessons. I was recently walking through a park when I came across a discarded supermarket trolley. It was lying upside down in a clump of nettles. It would have been easy to pass on by… yet I felt an inner voice instruct me to do something.
So, I turned the trolley over and got it back on its wheels. Yes of course I felt embarrassed pushing it along the path, trying to dodge the questioning looks of passersby. I considered just pushing the trolley to the edge of the park and leaving it there for somebody else to deal with, but that would be the same act of abandonment as the ‘teen vandal’ who discarded it in the first place.
See how easy it is to judge, even when we don’t know the facts. We are quick to blame others when there could be a reasonable explanation. Instead of judging and criticising, what if we simply took action to put things right? That’s what we would do if we knew one of our kids had messed up. Yet we are all somebody’s kid and if we consider God as our Father, then why wouldn’t we have the backs of our brothers or sisters who messed up? Imagine if we all did this, we could not only turn a trolley right side up, but perhaps the world as well!
Anyway, before I knew it, I had gone the extra mile to walk the trolley all the way back to the supermarket. It was still fairly new and could now continue to serve its purpose, rather than rusting away and causing environmental damage. It felt good to have been able to help. That there was one less problem in the world! And it didn’t cost me anything really, I was out for a walk anyway — it just meant going in a different direction. I didn’t think anything of it, it’s just what one does when you are a child of God. You have this inner awareness that you are not part of the problem, but part of the solution.
A Repairer of the Breach
God calls each of us to be a ‘Repairer of the breach’; to fix that which is broken, to put things right where we can. As Isaiah 58:12 says: “Those from among you shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”
He is the God of reconciliation who loves to restore us and set us on a firm footing so we in turn can do the same for others. I don’t see myself as a ‘Good Samaritan’ — it was a trolley, not a wounded person, but in those embarrassing moments, I was thankful that I hadn’t missed God. I had been obedient to a simple instruction, in my quest to hear more clearly from Heaven, and hopefully it will be even easier to hear that ‘still, small voice’ next time.
I also realised that I have reached an age or a level of confidence where I am no longer held back by embarrassment. It no longer concerns me that much what people think of me. I knew it wasn’t me who had abandoned the trolley and so it was ok to run the risk of being falsely accused. We should never be embarrassed to help others, no matter how ridiculous we may look. Jesus made Himself nothing in order to reach down to rescue fallen mankind in varying degrees of depravity and despair.
We may not have that revelation yet, however we all have an inner awareness that if we find something amiss, we can do something about it. We can be a Repairer of the Breach. This points to a greater truth. The greatest breach there is in the world today, is that man and God are separated through the vast chasm of sin. Only Jesus can be the bridge back to God. As we call upon His name, we can be saved and restored to our eternal destiny. He is the greatest Restorer of the Breach and we can be just like Him.
Also read: Atheism, FOMO and Finding Faith