Is Something Missing From Our Puzzle?

By: Marcy Barthelette
Puzzles captured our imagination a number of years ago and we always have one laid out on our table in what we affectionately call the puzzle room (aka spare bedroom). Thankfully, we had a variety of puzzles and they have challenged our tired old brains during many hours of the pandemic. Our latest endeavor was a very whimsical depiction of Noah, the Ark and all the animals, many of which were very small. It was one of those puzzles that requires the use of the cover picture because colors and shapes changed so frequently that the parts didn’t seem to make any sense. Unfortunately, the picture on the box was very small and hard for me to study because of scar tissue in one eye resulting from a past surgery. Each evening after trying to place pieces, my eyes felt like sandpaper, but I kept at it until we were able to offer each other a high five for a job well done, a complete picture with every piece in its proper place.
One thing that really irritates us is running out of pieces before the puzzle is complete. We buy a lot of our puzzles from flea markets and garage sales so we know we’re taking a chance on them but the prices are just so much better than retail! Sometimes, however, the previous owner isn’t as careful as we are and we find pieces that have been chewed by an animal or small child. Sometimes they’ve come apart because of rough handling and sometimes we find part of someone’s snack on them. A few of our “bargains” do end up in the trash can. As a sidebar, all of our current bargain puzzles were acquired before we had heard of COVID 19. But the most disappointing of our discoveries is when pieces are missing. No matter how pretty the picture may be, an empty space makes it incomplete.
It occurs to me that life is a very large puzzle and each of us is an individual piece of the whole. If one or more of us steps out of the puzzle, we leave an empty space(s) that no one else can fill. Each of us is unique and equipped with very special gifts so it takes all of us to complete the tasks for which we were chosen. The church family serves God in many ways and each of us has a role in God’s plan for life. However large or small your role may be, step up to the plate and do your part. We’ll all be better servants for the effort.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. Romans 12:4-5
Oh, and one more thing. As Paul Harvey would have said, “Here is the rest of the story”. When our crazy Ark with all its occupants was complete Ken happened to open the box and found a poster of the puzzle inside, a poster that was about four times bigger than the picture on the box. I had seen the paper in the box but it was folded and the side that was turned up just indicated the manufacturer name so I thought it was an advertisement. The moral of this story is that we should always dig a little deeper to learn the bigger picture before we start a new project, offer an opinion or sit in judgment of others. Every story has more than one side and every puzzle needs every piece to be complete. And this old puzzler with less than perfect vision will always check the boxes for posters in the future!
We’ve been given only one piece of life’s jigsaw puzzle. Only God has the cover of the box.
 Max Lucado

One Response to “Is Something Missing From Our Puzzle?”


    Loved this article. Thanks so much for sharing your gift of writing.

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