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Gospel & Art Intersection: Beauty in the Broken

October 16, 2013 by Mandy Nagyhetenyi 1 comments

Posted in: Gospel & Art

Her little hands muscled the brush, slathering paint intently with each stroke. A little smudge of red here, a splotch of blue there, some mud puddle brown bracing the corner of the paper due to the overwhelming urge to mix all the colors together. It was a masterpiece, a beautiful picture which she had created using her own God-given hands and imagination. As she intensely brushed the last few strokes of muddy brown, the paper, overcome by paint, ripped. Her head slumped down, tears welling up somewhere behind the shield of blonde hair covering her face. Her masterpiece was broken. And this 3 year old’s little beating heart mirrored the state her picture was in.

“I think your picture is even more beautiful now!”

I could make out an “oh, come on, Mom!” expression hidden somewhere beneath all that hair.

“It’s true! Your picture reminds me of how when God made us, He saw beauty. He saw His masterpiece and said ‘That’s good!’ But we became broken because we ran after everything else besides God, the very one who made us His masterpiece. God loved us so much that He sent Jesus Christ to heal and restore us from our brokenness. Your picture reminds me of God's great love. What do you think of that?”

Her head lifted up from behind the shield, her tears stopped, her face softened...

“Get me tape, Mom!”

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly the angelic-choir-singing epiphany I was expecting my 3 year old to have. But, I knew she got it. Together we taped her broken masterpiece. We restored it. And we hung it on display.

“...He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” (Isaiah 61:1-3, NIV)

This is much better than a quick fix of scotch tape, right?! It's a beautiful restoration of brokenness which displays the splendor and glory of the Lord.

We are all broken. In our own efforts to be god, we have become tiles shattered to pieces, shards that cut each other deeply. But God in His great love gathers up our broken pieces, adheres us together in Jesus Christ and creates a beautiful mosaic called the Church, His masterpiece. Every day then becomes an opportunity to unite together in Jesus Christ. Every moment becomes a chance to worship Him for the beautiful restoration He brings us into.

Consider this:

  • For parents: What are some tangible ways to help your kids see God’s beauty and restoration amidst the broken backdrop of this world?
  • For all of us: Where do you see glimpses of God’s beauty and restoration amidst brokenness?

Let me challenge you to observe, to catch glimpses of God's beautiful restoration of brokenness, to notice ways He is adhering beautiful broken people together in Jesus Christ to form His Church. In fact, be a part of the restoration, the beautiful mosaic in process. Lord, I pray that You open our eyes to the beauty You have bestowed upon the broken.


Mandy, Your reflections on this personal interaction are beautiful in and of themselves. The fact that you were able to capitalize on what many could overlook as a mundane encounter, you were able to utilize as a tool for discipleship. I'm also encouraged by the challenge to see glimpses of the gospel in the everyday things that I so easily overlook. God's graces are certainly all around us. Lord, give me eyes to see and ears to hear of your beauty.

Gabe deG on Oct 16, 2013 at 8:21am

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