The Broken Transformed Into Graceful Beauty

“Redeemed Elegance” by Bella Forte Glass

Have your heart and your life ever felt like shattered glass? Broken into a thousand pieces? Irredeemable? Worthless?

Chris McGahan and his son, Micah, take broken pieces of glass, pieces that are thrown away and worthless to others, and arrange them on a ceramic plate. They then heat them and roll them up on a blowpipe. The result? Beautiful blown glass they call Redento Raffinato (Italian for “Redeemed Elegance”).

Redeemed Elegance
Broken, Flawed, and Worthless
Transformed into Graceful Beauty

Do you see the parallel to the work of Christ in our hearts and lives?

“There are remarkable parallels that accompany every step and point toward the work of Christ in our lives, starting with the broken pieces. We all have failures and shortcomings in our lives. Who would have thought that the broken or discarded ‘worthless’ pieces that represent failure could be used to make something even more beautiful and valuable than what was originally intended? But that is exactly what we do. Every single step throughout the process points clearly to Christ at work in our lives.” (Chris McGahan quote from AFA Journal – Brokenness to Beauty)

Are you broken into pieces? Do you feel worthless and irredeemable? Do you think there is no hope for you?

There is hope in Jesus! He will never throw us away when we seek His grace. He has bought every broken piece of us with His blood. He died and rose again for us. He has the power to pick up every single broken piece, even those hidden deep in our hearts where no one else sees. He lovingly blows the breath of His love and grace into our brokenness. The result? Redeemed elegance beyond what any person can make out of broken glass.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
Isaiah 43:1b HCSB

“Mosaic of Grace”
by Shelly E. Johnson

“Just a pile of broken glass
Pieces of a painful past
Shattered by the storms of life
This is all that’s left inside
 
He can take the fallen pieces
And lay them in the perfect place
When His work is finally finished
You will be a mosaic of grace
 
In your pain you may not see
The beauty of the masterpiece
But there’s a greater work of art
Than what each piece alone imparts…”

32 thoughts on “The Broken Transformed Into Graceful Beauty

  1. What beautiful pieces of art. Just stunning to visualize God doing that with our broken pieces. Lately I have been thinking so much about Naomi and Ruth- and looking at the end of their story I see such stunningly beautiful masterpieces glowing in the interwoven pieces too. So encouraging. Thank you, Trudy.

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    1. It’s such a comfort to visualize, isn’t it, Anna? I can imagine Him lovingly gathering our broken pieces together and blowing His love and grace into them to make us a beautiful masterpiece. Yes, stunning! Such great examples in Naomi and Ruth, too. May we take comfort in God’s power to take our broken and transform it into beautiful masterpieces!

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  2. Dear Trudy,
    I loved this post, and these thoughts: “He lovingly blows the breath of His love and grace into our brokenness.” It reminds me of Aslan’s breath on the frozen statues in Narnia, also. His GRACE is so powerful in our lives, isn’t it? We just do not grasp what He is doing with all of those broken pieces, as we can only see the pain here. Thank you for this sweet encouragement to keep our eyes and hope fixed on Him! Blessings, love and hugs to you! xoxo

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    1. I’m so glad you were encouraged, Bettie. Blessings, love, and hugs to you, too! It’s so true that we often see only the pain. BUT GOD… Yes, His GRACE is so powerful. Thank you so much for reminding me of Aslan’s breath on those frozen statues. It brings back the picture to my mind’s eye. Also that feeling of awe when I saw it. I love that movie. May we keep our eyes and hope fixed on Him who can and will breath His grace into our broken pieces!

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  3. “You will be a mosaic of grace.” That is such a beautiful line! I’m not sure if our mosaic ever really gets completed in this life time as grace is not just a one time fix. It’s ongoing, forever, n ever. I think there may be broken pieces in places, chips around the edges appearing, redeemed and showing up in other places, maybe even breaking again as we go through this life time, and that is okay. An every changing kaleidoscope. Beautiful post, Trudy. And thank you for introducing me to a new artist!

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    1. Thank you for these thoughts, Lynn. So true. I like your description of an “ever changing kaleidoscope.” Yes, His work with us is not finished yet! Here it is still ongoing, but someday it will be complete! May we trust that what He has begun in us, He will complete, and we will be a mosaic of grace!

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  4. You must have known with this theme that I was going to love this post, Trudy! I’ve never heard of this technique but the result is stunning and “Redeemed Elegance” is such a beautiful name. I love this description of God’s work: “He lovingly blows the breath of His love and grace into our brokenness. The result? Redeemed elegance beyond what any person can make out of broken glass.”

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    1. Yes, I certainly thought of you when I heard about this, Lesley. 🙂 It’s a lot like Kintsugi, isn’t it? I was immediately captured by this “Redeemed Elegance” art just as I was when I first heard of Kintsugi. We both love how God turns our brokenness into beauty and long for it for others, don’t we? We so need the breath of His love and grace, don’t we? Without it, we are nothing. May we cling to His faithful love and bottomless grace!

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  5. Oh, wow, Trudy!! Your post speaks to me on a powerful level especially since I am an artist. I love the glasswork and Chris McGahan’s perspective about his work! Your post beautifully highlights God’s work in and through us! I am comforted and inspired by your beautiful writing here! Thank you seems to fall short in expressing how much this meant to me! But I can find no other way to express it… so thank you from the bottom of my heart for your extraordinary post! ❤️

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    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Lynn. It’s always such an encouragement to me when anyone is comforted and inspired here. Your art and words do that for me, too. Sometimes I still marvel how God recently led you here during a night you couldn’t sleep. It was such a confirmation to me that He can direct anyone He wants to come here and give them hope in Him. And now I get so much encouragement from your site, too. God is good! All the time! May we daily invite God’s work in and through us!

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  6. Trudy, what an amazing transformation of brokenness to beauty! I’ve never heard of this process before. How symbolic of the redemption process of God when He works in our lives. He brings beauty from the broken shards of our hearts, doesn’t He? I loved thsi post, my friend.

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    1. I was amazed, too, Jeanne. Yes, God brings beauty from the broken shards of our hearts. What He does for us is beyond our understanding, isn’t it? May we lay all our broken pieces in the hands of our Healer and Redeemer!

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  7. Hi Trudy,
    What gorgeous glass and what a beautiful purpose for broken pieces! It reminded me of th new song I just love by Matthew West about God using all of us who are broken, along with the broken things in our lives. Just when we think God can’t do anything with the remnants of our lives, he creates something new and different and amazing. Sending love to you, my friend! xo

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    1. Sending love back to you, Valerie! Thank you so much for introducing me to that song. It really touches my heart. It’s so amazing how the KING of all kings uses broken beggars like us, isn’t it? May we surrender our brokenness and the broken things in our lives and trust He can create “something new and different and amazing!”

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  8. Ah, Trudy … the redemption of our brokenness, the restoration of our mess and misery. Praise God He specializes in ‘restoring the years the locusts have eaten’ {Joel 2}.

    And then gives us hearts filled with gratitude because He didn’t waste those hurts. And now we have something of value to offer to others.

    I’m so very grateful.

    Thanks for this powerful post, friend …

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    1. Thank you for reminding me of that verse, Linda. It is a comfort that God redeems and restores our broken, isn’t it? Yes, Praise God! And that He never wastes our hurts but makes them of more value to others is so hard to fathom. May the blessings of restoration and redemption He gives to us pour out to others around us to give their hurting hearts hope!

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  9. Oh, Trudy, you had me at these words: “He lovingly blows the breath of His love and grace into our brokenness. The result? Redeemed elegance beyond what any person can make out of broken glass.” and tears fell as I read the verse from Isaiah, given to me years ago by my counsellor and still so precious. Redeemed Elegance is a beautiful analogy and a lovely physical way of revealing God’s grace with eloquence. I also loved the song, taking in every word as great hope and encouragement. Are you familiar with the book ‘Mosaic of Grace: God’s Beautiful Reshaping of Our Broken Lives’ by James Prescott, by any chance? I was blessed to add a few words of testimony to it. My memory of it was stirred by your words and the lovely lyrics in the song. Thank you for offering us such a beautiful thought about the redemption of our brokenness. Blessings, love and hugs to you, dear friend! xo ❤

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    1. I’m so happy this breathed hope and encouragement to your heart, Joy. I hadn’t heard of the book by James Prescott, but I looked it up on Amazon. It sounds fulls of encouragement. I see you have a poem in it – Rising, though I wasn’t allowed to read that section. Thank you for sharing this book. I have placed it on my wish list which keeps growing more than dwindling… We certainly need grace to reshape our broken lives! May we more and more open our hearts to God’s breath of love and grace to transform our brokenness into beauty!

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  10. The mosaic glass work is so beautiful. To think it is made of reworked broken pieces of glass. I love how God does the same for our brokenness.

    Thank you for the beauty of sharing how brokenness can become beautiful again. I love the hope that radiates throughout this post.

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    1. I’m happy you felt hope radiating here, Mary. There is so much hope in how God can and will make our brokenness beautiful. When our hearts or lives feel broken, may we fix our eyes on the Redeemer and patiently wait for His way and timing!

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  11. Hi Trudy! I love the image of broken glass, and how gorgeous it looks in the art work photo you have here. Not only reclaimed, but more beautiful than ever. And isn’t that the promise we’ve been given? Even a broken heart can be mended and be more useful and open than ever. Wow!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Yes, wow! Reclaimed. More beautiful, useful, and open than ever! It’s so amazing how God does that to our broken hearts, isn’t it, Ceil? Blessings to you, too! May we place every broken shard of our hearts and lives into the hands of the Master Craftsman!

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  12. So beautiful! The song is wonderful and the promises of God eternal! Great reminders for all of us…for we are all broken pieces…”BUT we have this treasure…” in jars of clay to show the glory of God within us! A mosaic of grace! Amen

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    1. Your comment sounds like a praise song, Amy. 🙂 It lifts my heart. It’s amazing how God gives us His treasure in our jars of clay, isn’t it? Too incomprehensible for words. May we lift our hearts in praise for His glorious grace redeeming our broken hearts!

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