So, have I piqued your interest?  Let me begin by saying that a couple weeks ago, my family was blessed when twin boys were born to my nephew and his wife.  On top of that, they also have a 2 1/2 year old boy as well.  GOD BLESS THEM!  So, let me set the scene for you:  This week, I was sent a short video in which little 2 year old Parker is laying next to his 4 lb brother, Nicholas… and his 5 lb brother, Alexander…. and hugging and kissing them.  Then, Parker decides to lay down at an angle next to his brothers and says to his mom and dad, “it’s a puzzle…we like a little puzzle”.  Besides being absolutely endearing and precious, I was struck by the simple wisdom of a little boy as he is “discovering” life now shared with two little brothers.  Then, as I watched that 45 second video a few more times, I began to reflect on how wise Parker’s words are….because in many ways, life is “just like a puzzle”.

So, I took this simple experience and I brought it to prayer.  As I spent some time with the thought, I realized that as adults, our lives are truly puzzles, aren’t they? Some of us have rather simple life puzzles and some of us have very complicated life puzzles.  At times, the pieces seem to interlock and fit quite nicely and at others, the pieces seem as if they belong to “someone else’s puzzle”.  And don’t we all wonder what the end of life picture puzzle will look like?  Will the puzzle be completed?  Will it be a thing of beauty to behold?

Or have you ever discovered that a piece you thought belonged to your life puzzle, somehow was “being forced” to fit in and in reality, that piece of the puzzle was never meant to be a part of your life?  Maybe it was a person who brought nothing but pain or sorrow into your life, or maybe it was being forced to take a job that never reflected your skills or talents?

As I prayed about life, about our world, about loved ones dealing with incredible pain and loss, I realized that while in the midst of these challenges, it can feel like our puzzle pieces simply don’t fit…or wondered how we ever thought that this puzzle piece would bring us joy and hope when, in fact, that puzzle piece simply magnified how “out of sync” our life was.  And then….I reminded myself that perhaps we, as adults, need to step back now and then, and gain perspective, like Parker did.  He took a “different angle” as he lay down next to two new human beings “invading” his space, his world, his family…and he hugged them, and welcomed them with the approach of “well, let’s see if we can make these two new puzzle pieces fit”.  Lo and behold, they fit…and as the final pieces of this puzzle image came together, it truly reflected a “thing of beauty”.  Parker laid there and admired how the 3 of them fit together like a puzzle…he opened his world view to welcome others in.  And a “family” was borne!  Wouldn’t it be amazing if we, as adults, could learn to step back and look at things differently?  Of course, I’m not saying that life is perfect, but ultimately, no single puzzle piece is PERFECT, unless it perfectly fits with all the other puzzle pieces to create a masterpiece.

So, as we go about our lives these days, perhaps Parker was on to something….perhaps thinking about life as  “a puzzle to be explored, to be lived, to be enjoyed”, is part of our message this day, this week.  Hope is found in the simplest of ways and part of life is realizing that the pieces of our life’s puzzle are gifts to be examined, explored, lived…and when the puzzle is complete, we will see our lives as God sees us:  A GIFT!  Or as God so aptly shares in Isaiah 43:  “You are precious in my eyes and glorious and I will give nations in exchange for you”.    A GIFT- of newborns, a GIFT of a little boy’s way of making life work, a GIFT of seeing ourselves as pieces of God’s precious life puzzle.  Let’s all take a moment this week to look in the mirror and see ourselves as wonderfully make puzzle pieces that have the ability to bring joy and HOPE to others.

Live and Be HOPE this week….and thanks, Parker!

Sr. Debbie Blow