Seeing the Big Picture

Weekly Reflection, Sunday, August 16, 2020

By: Eleanor Wellford

It’s puzzling how interested I have become in puzzling. I’ve lived all of my life without the slightest interest in putting jigsaw puzzles together. In fact I’ve always thought it to be a boring pastime and one that required far too much time and patience – both of which I have in short supply. I’ve known families who kept a puzzle going on a table in a convenient enough place that everyone could share in putting it together whenever they had the time or inclination.

That’s not my style of puzzling, though. Mine is solitary. I want the satisfaction of completing it all on my own. I have no interest in sharing the glory of that! My husband thinks it’s funny to come up behind me, pretending to compliment me on my progress, but all the time looking for that one piece of the puzzle that has eluded me, finding it, and putting it in place. Then he walks away saying how easy it is. And that’s when I realize that we’ve had just a little too much COVID19 “together time.”

I guess I have sheltering at home to thank for my new-found interest in jigsaw puzzles. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have become interested in them otherwise. I also have parishioner and almost centenarian, Seward Gray, to thank. During a recent phone visit with him I asked him how he was spending his time and he explained how his daily routine included a couple hours of working on a jigsaw puzzle. That had to be the secret to his healthy and active mind. Right? I wanted in on that!

That and his constant attitude of gratitude. It’s easy to become frustrated with the strange circumstances under which we are all living just like it’s easy to get frustrated by the chaos of hundreds of puzzle pieces that on their own have no pattern to them. It’s easy to get stuck and feel as if no progress is being made. That’s when I have to stop working on it and step back and discover the big picture of the puzzle that’s emerging.

Although we can’t see it yet, I’m pretty sure the Holy Spirit is at work redeeming something beautiful out of what we see only as a mess of current events. It’s like a fractal, which is something that reveals a hidden “order” from seemingly chaotic events. We see only a tiny part or just one puzzle piece of God’s fractal. And that’s the big picture that puts what we are going through right now in its proper perspective.

“Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” – Psalm 124:8