We can help to complete God’s jigsaw
Jane Walters enjoys a good jigsaw, and explains how the jigsaw of life can often best be completed as a team effort.
I’ve been thinking of jigsaw puzzles lately. It started when my mum, who lives in a community of elderly flat-dwellers, was telling me that one of her routines is to go into the shared lounge that overlooks the seafront and spend an hour or so of her afternoons doing the jigsaw that’s always on the go.
That reminded me of our Christmas tradition of completing a puzzle before the return to work, and of the long weekend a few years ago when my grand daughter was born after an extended labour. That jigsaw puzzle kept my sanity!
Jigsaws can be satisfying ways of relaxing, but also come with their frustrations. I can’t count the times I’ve thought I’ve nearly finished, only to find I’ve mis-positioned a section of the border, meaning that the last couple of pieces won’t fit until some of it is undone. Not to mention that one missing piece which undermines the hours of effort leading to that grim discovery.
As a metaphor for life, a jigsaw puzzle is a pretty good analogy. Our lives are made up of various parts of different shapes and sizes. Some are really important; others less so but nevertheless combine to make us who we are. Life feels sweet when everything slots into place, and it feels empty and formless when some key components are missing. As a Christian, I would see God as the painter of the picture on the lid, guiding me so that I turn out as close to His vision as possible.
Recently, my life has been rather turbulent and I’ve turned for support to my friends. They’re a disparate bunch, of different ages, professions and locations; but the thing that has struck me is that each one has contributed uniquely to my requests for help. None of them has repeated the same idea or given me the same tip. Instead, they have each played their part and have collectively contributed to providing help, support and solutions whenever I have needed them. In some cases, they have recommended another place to go for the right help, spreading the circle wider and increasing my sense of being supported.
There isn’t one single individual who could have met my needs. God has orchestrated it so that it has been a team effort – like the pensioners that add a piece or two of my Mum’s jigsaw puzzle as they are passing.
So often we feel inadequate when those we love are in difficulty but, if each of us just “put our piece in place,” together we can make a massive difference.
The image above is courtesy of pixabay.com
Jane Walters, formerly Clamp, is the author of Too Soon, a mother’s journey through miscarriage (SPCK) and a regular contributor to Premier Radio and UCB. She leads creative writing retreats and is a popular speaker locally and further afield. Visit: www.janeclamp.com
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