What with all the things going on in my life, I have fallen back on the comfort of puzzles. I can pick up a box with and interesting picture, open it and scatter all the pieces onto the table.

They don’t look like the picture. They are chaos and upside-down beige cardboard at first. The pieces are fragments of wildly unfamiliar and also impossibly the same shapes and images. I start to sort them and make sense of it.

In the world outside the puzzle box, I’ve experienced a rise in the number of disappointments and betrayals. I could give in to negativity and lose hope. There is certainly enough evidence to support pessimism. And yet, I will not resign myself to hopelessness.

So, the puzzles, with their promise of restoring order and even beauty from chaos are a way to fight back.

I flip all the pieces so their colors show. I touch them and look them over to get the sense of how this will work out.

What things do I know for sure? The one single straight edge is something I can rely on, that’s a place to start. The edges of the puzzle is a guarantee that I’m going in the right direction.

And yet…from the very beginning there is a battle.

How can this piece fit? Maybe this puzzle has the wrong pieces.


Is something missing? The box was sealed but…

Maybe there was a problem and this time things won’t come together.

All the time I sort and look and fit the pieces together I am still doubting.

Did a piece fall and on the floor and get eaten by the dog?

WHERE is that one piece that has to have purple in it? I don’t see any piece with purple. This is the one the dog ate; I just know it.

I’ve put a few together now. Once, a piece was eaten by the dog. I know because I found that soggy chewed piece, rescued it and put it back together. It was funny looking, but it was complete at the end.

It’s a pendulum swing, between victories and despair. Every piece that slides into place is a satisfying payoff. And so quickly when I search for the next piece it can swing to the despair.

Putting that puzzle together is talking myself into faith every second. And as I practice faith and action in this small flat world that fits in a box, I am building the same for the larger world.

It will work. Things will come together. Have faith, and trust.