2014-07-23 - Puzzle Pieces
I was coming out of the grocery store recently and saw some friends I had met, when working for a disabilities ministry at a church. The mother was holding her adult daughter's hand and walking toward the entrance. Her daughter was born with Down's syndrome, and they later determined she is also dealing with Autism, as well. I recall having some really fun interactions with her, on respite nights for the parents. She loved to sit on the gym floor and throw a ball. Although she seemed to be random, there was no accident to her pelting an unsuspecting victim in the head with a soft-play ball. She would giggle sometimes, and after awhile, it occurred to me that I should duck and/or warn people she was not looking toward, that they could perhaps be next. She also loved to work puzzles. The ones with textured pieces were especially interesting, along with the sign language ones. I later learned that she knew how to do some signing. There is a lot going on in her head, even though it might not always come out in clear ways to those who do not know her.
The other day, I was thinking about how we are all pieces to a bigger puzzle - the plan devised, and now being worked out, by the Father. Also, how each of us has many pieces that make up our journey, while we are her fulfilling our own part of His plan. If you've ever worked a puzzle, and there were missing pieces, you know that it can be infuriating and somewhat of a letdown, after all the work putting the rest together. Every person, in whatever their situation, matters as part of the plan. Sometimes I think we assume that someone who seems different must be a lost piece, when in fact, that could not be further from the truth. I learned many things about myself and others working with kids and adults with different abilities and needs, mainly that there are no mistakes in God's plan.
As I travel on my own journey, too, I feel as though there are more pieces of my own puzzle that make more sense, as I move through different parts of my life. Sure, God could put it all together for me quickly if he wanted. However, we are not always ready to know things that are to come, and so we get each piece when we are ready. I have also come to understand how important prayer is in any situation. It helps me to understand my own role and that of others. I always want to be a blessing, yet I so often end up feeling so blessed by the privilege of meeting other people and learning what their part in the puzzle might be. There are many unexpected surprises when we do as a friend suggests and "take me out of your box". We all have different gifts, different roles, and are equally as important in the grand scheme of things. I remind myself of this with God's word, when I forget it. And we also should remind others of this - those who may not know that even people who cannot speak for themselves are equally as valuable. I am very glad I am not a lost piece of the puzzle.
All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise noted.