Over two years ago, I sent a Book of Mormon to an inmate who belonged to a gang when he was arrested. That book completely changed his life. Recently, I received a letter from him that included the following:
“There’s a style of Asian art [kintsugi] where the artist fixes a broken bowl or a broken flower pot with gold. So instead of glue or some other adhesive, the artist uses gold to put the pieces back in place. This creates something beautiful because every crack, chip, and jagged edge is now golden.
“In my broken places, God has given me gold. That’s how the Atonement fixed me up. So when I say ‘God has turned my mess into a message’ I’m sincere because, really, I’m a new man in Christ.”
I love that analogy, because I think of God and Jesus as alchemists, turning our lead into gold. In fact, I see the Atonement as not so much repairing the broken places, but as creating a whole new pot or bowl. I mentioned this to my friend and he agreed. Eventually, that pot or bowl—you, me—can become gold.