I always loved jigsaw puzzles. Finding the right spot for each piece was, like my 9-year-old son says about videos of dominoes falling just the right way, satisfying. Once in a while, I will find a stray piece in our dining room that didn’t make it neatly back into the box. And so, I try to help it find its way back, so it can be part of a whole, a complete picture knit together.
Throughout life, I’ve tried to weave similar jigsaw puzzles in my mind. Knitting my experiences, my feelings, my thoughts neatly together. And then, this year came, and I began to look a bit closer at my puzzle and the pieces.
I’ve found pieces that I seem to have lost along the way, neglecting to ever fit into the puzzle lying on the ground in front of me. And I look to fit them, but they seem too big and there’s no room in my puzzle for them. And then I look closer still and see some pieces that I thought fit together really don’t. And so, I start to take them apart, one by one, until I realize none of them really fit. And so, I’m left with a bunch of pieces, some small, some big, none of which seem to fit.
I think we try so hard to make meaning of things, at least I always have. Trying to understand how we got where we are, how our lives unfolded to bring us where we are today. And, sometimes – maybe often – this is something we are not meant to know, at least not on this side of heaven. I know this somewhere deep inside. I know that I need to remember that God is good, that He loves me, that He is in control, and that His ways are not mine. And yet, still, I struggle with the desire to understand it all, to take all the pieces myself and make whatever art I can. And maybe, this is something he desires for us to do. To try to understand while also recognizing our limitations to do so.
And so, I sit with all of the pieces in front of me, pick one up, examine it and then try to find one that will fit with it. I will do this until I can weave a new picture. But maybe, 20 years from now, I will look down and see none of the pieces fit and I’ve lost some more. And then, I will start all over again, again.