The Piece Doesn’t Fit

Once in a while we would buy a puzzle from the dime store. It would have a picture on the front and when the pieces were turned right side up you could tell that they belonged somewhere in that puzzle because of their shading and shape. It is very unsettling to get most of the puzzle together and realize that there are a couple of pieces that will fit nowhere. (They must belong to another box but who knows where or what?)

This is the feeling I have today as I hear about the tragic outbreak of violence in Norway. This is the country of my heritage. The emigrant community I grew up in did not have locks for our doors. This is the country I visit where I can rest, trust, watch whole families walk together in the parks on Sunday and hear stories of how the king shops for groceries with everyone else.

I have nowhere to put this piece of news that a youth camp was invaded and a place of refuge is now referred to as hell. This same dilemma presents when I try to put the pieces of my life experience into the framework of what I perceive to be Christian pilgrimage or biblical Christianity. I read promises of how God will respond when we are faithful. Most of the time the pieces fit but there is usually one or two that seem to have come from a different box. For me this is the suffering of a friend or the dashed hopes of someone I love. I can’t throw out the whole puzzle but I can’t throw away the pieces either. I need to decide if my faith is based on what I can see or on the One Who sees what I can’t see.

Do the pieces not fit because I don’t see the bigger picture? Is my frame too small? God grant me the grace to trust you when life doesn’t fit easily into place. May I yield that which I cannot explain because I know the signature on the puzzle is love.

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