Connected, Piece by Piece
by Cindy Pratt
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
As a child, one of our Christmas traditions was doing a Christmas puzzle. We would sit around the table connecting the pieces one by one, watching the picture emerge. It was a wonderful time to just be together while enjoying conversation and fellowship with both family and friends. After finishing the puzzle, we would toss all the pieces back into the box thinking that, perhaps, we would use the same puzzle the following Christmas.
After Wayne and I married, we continued this tradition until, one year, we decided that rather than dismantling the puzzle we would save it. We began to do this year after year, carefully gluing the pieces together, backing the puzzles with newspaper, spraying them with acrylic finish and noting on the back the year and the names of those who helped us complete the puzzle. I must admit, some of these puzzles turned out better than others. Some wound up with a missing piece or two (is that the one the dog ate? Or the one the baby chewed?). And some took FOREVER to complete—one actually took two years to finish (photo attached).
Now, each Christmas, we remove many photos, wall hangings, and pictures from our walls and replace them with our puzzles! These Christmas puzzles are not only a major part of our Christmas decorations, these are reminders of WHO we are! These puzzles are memories of the many people who have entered and exited our lives. The puzzles are visuals of the many “pieces” of our lives. The many pieces that continue to create our story. Last year, because we had family “coming home” we decided to display all 47 puzzles. Oh my! The discussions that ensued! As we looked at the dates and names on the back of each puzzle, we remembered those special people who had come into our lives, had left our lives, or were still integral parts of our lives. We were thankful for each name, for each piece, for each puzzle. The story of our lives…. on our walls… reminding us of all the special blessings God has put into our lives. Each blessing, adding a piece to the wonderful story God continues to create.
Creator God, we thank you for all the pieces of our lives, even those pieces with a few teeth marks! Amen.