Jigsaw Puzzles

Hey everybody!   How is everyone?  Hopefully the heat hasn’t caused any health issues for anyone.  Just think, before too long it will be fall – bright colors, pumpkin and cider, bonfires and scarves.  But let’s not get ahead of ourselves!  I was talking to a friend earlier today and the comment was made comparing our lives to jigsaw puzzles.   I’d love to pursue that train of thought.  So, find a glass of something cold, and a comfy place for the train to come into the station.

I remember when I was a little girl, every Sunday we would get in the car and drive an hour to my grandparents’ farm for the day.  There was always something interesting going on there.  There was the barn to be explored, the pony to ride sometimes, the machinery to investigate, the wonderful dinner to eat together.  Sometimes we played dominoes.    Often times, there would be a jigsaw puzzle on a table in the corner of the living room and we could always put a few pieces together as we felt like it.  In the winter, sometimes we worked on the jigsaw puzzle together during the afternoon.  We had to look at the picture on the box to see what we were trying to make, and find things that matched in color or shape to make the picture clear from all those tiny pieces.

Our lives can be like that, too.  We may not know exactly what it is supposed to look like, and we may not know exactly how it should all go together.  The borders are often easier, since one side is always straight.  That seems to me like the general shape of a good life, consistent and straight, aligned with the Scriptures.  The picture is something else.  Some pieces are dark, some pieces are light.  Some make us feel sad, some make us dance with delight.  If all the pieces were light, there wouldn’t be much of a picture.  We need the dark times for contrast and perspective, for outline and form.

The picture we piece together is our own portrait. Our eyes, our mouths, our clothing our hearts.  Yes, even our hearts will show in this puzzle of our lives.  I liken it to the portraits of Jesus where He exposes His Sacred Heart.  We can see His burning love for us and the world.  I pray that my portrait will look like Jesus when it’s finished.   In order to do that, I need to look at the picture – His picture.  I find it by reading the Gospels in Scripture.

I also think it will be an abstract collage portrait.  Have you ever seen a picture that is actually made up of little pictures, like a collage, but when viewed from a distance looks like something else?  Our puzzling lives can be like that.  Today I look like a mom, tomorrow I look like a neighbor, last week I looked like a dog’s nurse.  All those little vignettes form a composite of our lives, and what we look like.  Click here to see an example.  That’s what I mean when I say I hope my completed puzzle looks like Jesus!

What about you?  What does your puzzle look like so far?  Is it a good picture?  Is it a picture you’d rather change?  I have great news – if you don’t like your picture, you can change it any time you like!  We can start over any minute of any given day, and re-draw our life’s pictures.  We can replace pictures of selfishness with pictures of generosity, pictures of anger with pictures of kindness, pictures of hopelessness with pictures of joy.

If you love how your life looks, say a thank you to the Lord who has made it that way.  If you don’t like what you see, make a choice to change it!  If you need help, don’t be afraid.  Find a pastor or a priest.  They will be happy to help you begin to re-draw the picture puzzle of your life.  Don’t be discouraged.  We all have dark pieces to our portraits.  Remember it takes both to make contrast, shape and form!

I wonder what my puzzle piece will look like today?  So far, I’ve been a writer and a dog owner.  It will be interesting to see how these pieces fit into the big picture when I get to heaven!



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