When I was small, I used to spend Sunday afternoons helping Granny with her jigsaw. We’d spend hours poring over the pieces; Columbo in the background, puncturing our companionable silence with an occasional murder.
I still love a good jigsaw. 1000 pieces. Not too much sky or grass or sea. Nothing too complicated with baked beans or 3d. Cats but not horses. Boats but not oceans. On days when I’m stressed or a bit sad, each piece restores my sanity. The neatness of it; the crisp lines and colours, the feel of the pieces.
A jigsaw is a full-time commitment. You have to put in the hours and maintain your focus, even when people laugh at you or try to make you go outside/sleep. Round the clock vigilance is required to prevent interference from well-meaning relatives, or excitable cats.
But the worst is when there’s a piece missing.
You might have a gorgeous picture in place, with flowers and people and borders and houses and everything you could possibly want. But that one empty space draws the eyes and sucks up the rest. Others might not spot it – but you know it’s there. And if you let it, that one tiny gap will ruin the whole picture.
When you want something and you can’t have it, it can feel like the only thing. And like everything else is nothing. It’s hard to take your eyes off the gap. And most of us have them. Something we really, really want, but just don’t have. For me it’s a baby. But it could be anything really. A partner, a job, a new kitchen, a break. The missing piece – the ‘one thing’ that will make life complete.
This is my heart’s cry and what I instinctively feel. But the truth is deeper.The one thing I need – the only thing, is Christ. And it’s not just that He’s the missing piece – He’s the whole picture.
I’m piecing together a cottage scene. But He’s building a mosaic of kingdom proportions. I’m focusing on the gaps – but He’s already the whole. I can’t see it yet; but one day I will. And in His hands, nothing is lost.