We pour the puzzle pieces out and then the challenges of different approaches begin. I want to sort all the pieces by colors or common feathers (i.e., coast line or ice skaters) setting aside the edge pieces as I go. My husband prefers to scan through for all the side pieces so the edge is complete before the rest of the puzzle is started. This has resulted in a style that changes based on the puzzle we are working and often starts with one person doing the set up rather than having too many hands with different focuses. It takes all the skills (and patience) the two of us can muster but we generally succeed.
I look at the puzzle pieces as they go from a complete jumble to a beautiful picture wrapped in the fun we have had laughing over frustrations and rejoicing in a single piece finally finding a home. And I wonder if this is not how my life seems to God. I have been given abilities, developed skills, taken baby steps and some significant leaps of learning along my journey, always feeling things are at least a little out of control and disjointed But God sees the top of the box and knows how each piece of learning, each relationship, each experience is perfectly suited to my individual journey and my life of purpose as a child of God.
So it is also for our loved one whose incarceration seems like the worst imaginable thing, something we did not even fear because in the beginning it seemed so far from our expectations for our child or our marriage or our parent or our friend.
But this too is part of the good life God even today sees for our loved ones. This puzzle seems ugly, dark and desperate, but God has a transformational outcome in mind and the power to make an amazing picture come into existence.
Cling fiercely to God, work diligently on your own spiritual life so that your interactions with your loved ones will reflect your confidence that God loves them, values them and has important work for them to do.
"Jesus looked at them and said, 'This is something that people cannot do. But God can do anything.'” Matthew 19:26