The Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces

They all looked so different- not even one was similar to another! Their colours, designs, shapes – all varied. But they came together in one box and flowed out into my hand, one hundred of them, jumbled up like a mess.

The picture on the box was that of a grand palace, surrounded by orchards, and fountains and meadows. It said ‘100-Pieces Jigsaw Puzzle’. And as they tumbled out of the box, you couldn’t say for sure if they all would make up for the picture on top of the box.

“I am the biggest piece” announced one of them.

“No, I am bigger than you” said another.

“You may be big ones, but there’s no design of the palace on either of you!” argued a third. “Look, I have the door of the palace on me. So I am the most important.”

“But I have the pinnacle of the palace designed on me!” shouted another.

“You all are talking about your sizes and designs, but you all have what look like holes on your sides. Empty spaces. Pity! You all look so lame!” said another proudly. “Look at my shape – it has so many hoops… they make me bigger and weightier than you!”

“Middle pieces you all! None of you deserve to be taken first!” screeched another! “Look at my sides – two of them are as smooth as butter! I make for the border… so I will be taken first.”

“HUSH!” I said. “Stop making noise, let me observe the picture on the box first.” They all quietened down for a while. The beauty of the bright palace caught me. The shining doors and carved walls looked so attractive. There were apple and pear trees on one side of it, and grape vines, rose gardens and lush green meadows on the other. Fountains on the top seemed to flow right down to where I was. Come, let me start solving this exciting jigsaw puzzle…

“Me first!” “Take me first!” “Here, take me!” the noise started again.

Up jumped the one with two smooth sides – “Here! I come, the first of all!”

“You may come first, Mr. First, but you certainly need the other pieces to make the entire picture” was my reply. “The others will soon join you to match up where you have the extra hoops.”

And soon, the others did match up, one by one. It took quite an effort, and much time to look at each piece’s design and figure out its place in the big picture. But as the design started to come up, it felt so exciting! The matching of each piece with its adjacent one was like a reward.

“Ouch!” cried some, when their hoops were pushed into the empty spaces of their adjacent pieces. “It’s just a little rubbing at your sides, and it doesn’t do you any harm, my little ones!” I continued.

“I don’t like the colour of this brown one next to me! Nor of the shades of the blue waters, they don’t match with my dazzling white” grumbled one of the palace-wall parts. “Your white colour dazzles, but it cannot make up for the entire picture! It is the variety in colours that make the picture beautiful.” I explained.

The palace was almost done. The fountains and the orchards, too. But the meadows had a few gaps in between. Oh! Their absence made the rest of the puzzle look unpleasant! I needed them soon! And there they lay – upside down… “What happened to you? Why are you looking downwards?”

“We just have a few tiny flowers on us. Nothing great about us” they answered.

“So what? Do you think the puzzle could be complete without you? No! See how the empty meadows gape at me without you! Come quickly, you are lovely lilies. Even the palace residents wouldn’t be as beautifully dressed as you!”

And as they filled up the gaps, oh how excited I was! Till … it was almost done … almost … not yet complete though! Where’s the last one?

“Dinner is ready! Come, sunny…” mummy called me.

“Not yet mom! Let me finish making my puzzle. There’s just one piece left”

Beneath the table… over the boxes… behind the curtains… where could this last piece be? I will leave the ninety nine solved and adjusted pieces and search everywhere till I find my missing piece!

“At last! There you lay hidden under the carpet! I’m so glad I found you!”

“The cat pushed me down”

“No worries, now that you are in my hand, my most precious piece, I will put you where you make my design complete!”

“Wow! This is my One-Hundred Piece Beautiful Puzzle. And oh! Not a puzzle anymore… It’s a grand palace in the most attractive setting I could have ever dreamt of! Let me show this awesome picture to all my family and friends…”

We all are like these puzzle pieces. Each with a different design, colour and shape of our own. But put together in the right place, we make the beautiful design of God’s Temple, His dwelling place. None of us is more important, or less, than the other. Each of our gifts and abilities complement that of others. Let us enjoy the differences. It would be boring if all of us were the same.

Cherish the friction, without grumbling, as God joins us together in the One Body of Christ. Stay patiently in your place, trusting in the wisdom of the Great Designer.

Preeti Khristmukti is a staff with UESI, She lives in Nadiad, Gujarat with her husband Arpit, and children Jason and Susan

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