A Puzzle Parable
My husband knows that I love puzzles. I don’t do them very often because I hesitate taking up valuable table top space that might become unusable for a while. (Actually, that logic doesn’t really hold up because most of the time clutter is taking up valuable table top space!)
At any rate, he had the brilliant idea to get me a super cool puzzle table for Christmas, along with four new puzzles and a lighted magnifier puzzle scoop to boot! He thought I would be in puzzle heaven!
Of course, I was thrilled by his thoughtfulness, and eager to get started. However, I didn’t really want to start with the Nativity Scene puzzle because it looked really hard and the colors were rather dull. Alas, how could I not do the Nativity first- it WAS Christmas after all!
Like most people, I like to start with the edges and get the outside frame in place before starting on the inside pieces. I just could NOT get the black edge to come together. After two days, I decided to leave it until later and go ahead working on the inside. Do you know how hard that was for me??? I hate not getting something completed before moving to the next thing. Leaving the edge pieces unfinished bordered on feelings of failure (oh the drama!)
I started on Mary’s red tunic first…that should be easy, a color with a pattern! Wait…. don’t we normally see Mary dressed in blue? Oh, who cares! I for one was happy she was in red this time! Who came up with blue anyway?
Anytime I felt like quitting, I was LITERALLY faced with Mary. I thought a lot about what she sacrificed as a willing servant of God. I thought about how she endured labor on a donkey for 70 miles, giving birth in a stinky dark animal stable with no medical assistance. (I wouldn’t even let Robby eat an apple next to me when I was in labor because I didn’t want to smell it!)
Paintings of the Nativity tend to romanticize the birth of the Savior. (I mean, who looks like Mary in this picture right after giving birth?). There was nothing romantic about it! Mary was a teenage, unwed mother who had to put her total faith and dependence in the God who had chosen her for this miraculous birth. As hard as that night must have been for her, it would not even compare to what she faced 33 years later! “Ok, ok", I thought. “I can surely stick with this puzzle until the end!”
The black pieces that made no sense in the beginning, finally fell into place when they connected to the big picture. When you can’t see the big picture, trust that the less colorful moments in life, even the blackest moments, will all play their part in creating the big picture. As my dear friend, the late Janice Gravely, use to say, “There is no waste in God’s economy”. A good reminder for the days ahead!
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