Kintsugi Creativity

by Allen Arnold, @TheStoryofWith

We all have scars. Most are unseen. But visible or not, every scar cuts deep. Betrayal from those we trusted. Silence when we needed support. Conditional love based on our performance. It’s amazing how many ways a heart can be shattered.

And for the most part, these wounds weren’t accidental. We have an enemy whose aim is to steal, kill, and destroy – both the Story you’re living and the ones you’re writing. And his strikes are strategic, attacking you at your points of purpose. Which is why the areas of your life that have been the most opposed often hold clues to your unique calling.

The scars that brought shame or harm weren’t from God nor were they meant for good. But God can bring healing to those wounds. The world tells us to hide our scars. Perhaps they represent a past you’d rather forget. Yet God offers a far better option – to redeem our broken places.

Which brings us to kintsugi. This Japanese art form dates back to the late 15th century and takes a very different approach than our modern culture to all things broken. We quickly trash and replace items with cracks or flaws. But these ancient artisans discovered a way to make the broken beautiful again by infusing golden lacquer into their fractured pottery.

But wouldn’t that just highlight the brokenness of the item?

Exactly. Rather than hide the imperfections, they illuminated them by filling the cracks with shimmering gold. They actually viewed the repaired item as more valuable than it had been, because now it was a one-of-a-kind original with its unique lines of gold. They honored the history of the piece by not just making it useable but by making it better.

Jesus understands. When asked the focus of his mission, he quoted a passage from Isaiah 61, saying the reason he came was to heal our shattered hearts and set us free. In the very places the enemy has tried to derail or destroy our story, Jesus steps in and heals our fractured lives. He doesn’t just set us in a brace; he sets us free.

The Creator can put the fragments of your life and heart back together again with His healing light. And when the Creator heals you, then you are infused with his healing power. During my two decades in Christian publishing, I worked with hundreds of novelists. Whether new voices or well established authors, the most powerful storytellers were always the ones whose scars had been transformed into weapons of light that illuminated their stories with a glow all their own. Their voice was unique and the themes they infused their novels with shimmered with an eternal glow.

That’s the power of Kintsugi Creativity.

If you are intrigued by the concept, I invite you to read my book The Story of With. It’s an allegory that goes further into this theme, revealing a better way to live and create. Kintsugi plays a major role in the journey of the protagonist Mia. The book’s cover even features a glass vial glistening with the glow of kintsugi.

The scars of your story can become the source of your strength. God’s kintsugi doesn’t make things almost as good as new. Through his touch, they become better than new.

May your scars – and your stories – glow with his healing light of kintsugi.


Kintsugi Creativity by Allen Arnold (Click to Tweet)

Areas of your life that have been the most opposed often hold clues to your unique calling.~ Allen Arnold (Click to Tweet)

The scars of your story can become the source of your strength.~ Allen Arnold (Click to Tweet)


The Story of With: A Better Way to Live, Love, & Create

“Unique and powerful, The Story of With will take readers deep into the discovery of their own identity. “Bravo! This fascinating blend of storytelling and teaching will shift the thinking of all who take this journey.” New York Times Bestselling Author, TED DEKKER

“Through allegory and invitation, Allen Arnold ushers us into a journey of imagination, insight, wonder, and wisdom…Read The Story of With!” New York Times Bestselling Co-Author of Captivating, STASI ELDREDGE

“This is your invitation into deeper identity, intimacy, and imagination with God. Like finding the place you’ve always longed to be. The moment you finish this book, you’ll race to grab one for a friend. Highest Recommendation!” Bestselling Author of The Long Journey to Jake Palmer, JAMES L. RUBART

“Allen has written a roadmap for dreaming with God. The Story of With is a beautiful, revelatory parable, filled with wonder, mystery, and adventure.” Author of Prone to Love & Untamed, JASON CLARK

– From the Foreword –

“You are not alone. Whether you’re a free spirit, an office exec, a writer, musician, college student, or tired parent—your soul, like mine, knows life is meant to go beyond rat races and rare applause. This book speaks to that belief. And if you’re not careful, you may find tears warming your eyes as you read because finally someone is naming your weariness, your striving, your questions of why you just can’t quite make it, or the emptiness that hit because maybe you did. It is into those places The Story of With reaches—fusing allegory with application—to offer fresh perspective, restored hope, and a rebirth of creativity.”

—From the Foreword by Mary Weber, Christy & Carol Award-Winning, Scholastic Pick Author of the Storm Siren Trilogy.

Allen Arnold is the author of The Story of With, an allegory that reveals a better way to live and create through the doorway of identity, imagination, and intimacy. His mission is to help people actively pursue and transform their talent by discovering how to pursue it with God. As the founding Fiction Publisher for one of the world’s largest Christian publishing houses, Allen oversaw the development of more than five hundred novels. He knows first-hand how common it is for creators to become disheartened, overwhelmed or burnt-out–as well as what it takes to help the dreams of writers become reality. In his current role at Ransomed Heart, he oversees content from the mountains of Colorado for the ministry. Before becoming a Board Member for ACFW, he was awarded their Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 for his substantial contributions to the world of Christian Fiction.