I often repeat to myself or to another Leonard Cohen’s powerful words lifting us out of darkness into light: “Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.”
Recently, I read about a new image in a book by Pastors Rob Cowles and Matt Roberts, The God of New Beginnings (thomasnelson.com). It is the presentation of their unusual ministry in Fort Collins, Colo., and Ogden, Utah, called Genesis Project. They firmly believe that the darkest, or entirely broken lives, can be redeemed through the power of real relationships. This book of their stories attests to that truth for innumerable drug addicts, felons, strippers, alcoholics and gang members who have found their way back to sanity, wholesome living and service to others.
For me, the new/old image that the authors use is from Japanese artisans who, for centuries, have practiced kintsugi, the art of taking the fragments of a broken piece and putting them back together again—trying not to conceal the cracks, but rather to highlight them by accentuating the jagged lines! (Google “kintsugi” to learn more!) Cowles and Roberts apply the love and grace of Christ, safe communities and God’s forgiveness to help reset lives and habits. They call it the “art of spiritual kintsugi.” They have been establishing centers in many cities and towns throughout the U.S. To further quote the book jacket: Jeff Lucas writes, “Raw, gritty, practical and inspirational…highly recommended” and Stephen Arterburn: “The more I’m around the Genesis Project guys, the more impressed I am with how they’re applying the love and grace of Christ to salvage messed-up people.”
For me, it’s a wonderful new image highlighting Cohen’s “Forget your perfect offering; there’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in!” I have certainly enjoyed this book; you may, too!
Renée Domeier, OSB