Last week we introduced the concept of kintsugi, the Japanese art form that puts broken pieces together with a mixture of gold dust and glue. The cracks are not hidden, but celebrated and honored.

In his book Life Is Messy, Matthew Kelly reminds us, “We possess the gold dust needed to glue other people back together, making them more beautiful and loveable than ever. Our love, acceptance, generosity, community and kindness are the gold dust.”

Steve Ring is the Clinic Director of Hegg Health Center Avera in Rock Valley, Iowa. Since meeting Steve several years ago, we have come to know him as a distributor of gold dust, which he carries in his heart. He recently shared this beautiful story of kintsugi.

“Since having children, I don’t get the chance to watch sporting events on TV as much as I used to – if hardly at all. Most of that time is now spent giving my attention to my two young boys and their interests and activities.

I committed to some “me time” and an opportunity to watch my favorite team play this past weekend – it would only take a couple of hours. During this time my boys invaded the room I had quarantined myself in to watch my game. They brought with them toys, games, books, noise, arguing and mess. They made better doors than windows playing in front of the TV. The “me time” I enjoyed was slipping away as was a big lead my team once had earlier in the game. My patience with my sons was also slipping away. As soon as the opposing team took the lead, my boys’ mess and arguing hit a fever pitch.”

“Simultaneously, the lead was gone and both siblings were in a full out tussle on the floor. My patience tank hit “E”, blood pressure leapt, yelling ensued, boys were sent to bedrooms and doors were slammed.

Seconds into the calm I shamefully realized that my fanatic frustration with my team was to blame for my loss of patience with my sons. As I sat in the mess we all created, my surveying eyes were drawn to my 5-year-old boy’s Bible lying on the floor. It was one of the books he had brought in earlier. I opened the Bible to Philippians 2 and read: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but…to the interests of the others.”

“My interest and frustration in a game on TV was selfish. I was putting “me time” above my boys. My frustration and selfishness were clouding my effectiveness. I turned off the game and humbly invited my boys back into the room. We apologized to each other, hugged, prayed together, and decided to clean up our mess. We all pitched in and spent the rest of the day playing together outside. We had a grand time and I will remember the laughter, love and fun of that day far more than some game on TV.”

Just as what Steve read in his son’s Bible reminded him of the possibility of kintsugi, maybe reading Steve’s story will remind us of the possibility of kintsugi in our own lives.


1. Where is some messiness or brokenness in your life that need to be glued together?

2. How can you apply gold dust to that situation to create kintsugi?

From our Top 20 team…Kevin Brennan, Willow Sweeney, and Tom Cody…who share our brokenness with each other.

Paul Bernabei, Director
Top 20 Training