The allotment; Conway castle; birds; advertising posters… What do these have in common? Well, they’re all the subjects of jigsaw puzzles that I’ve done. 1000 pieces is my limit and it’s hard work fitting the bits together. I often start with the edge. First you have to find the edge pieces from the heap of multi-coloured shapes in the box. You fit them together in what you think is the right order, only to find that the next row doesn’t quite slot in correctly. You unpick the edge and try again. Little by little the picture takes shape. Some pieces you have to twist and turn to work out which way they go, others have to be peered at – and give few clues as to their correct position. The whole thing is a confusing muddle.
Life evolves like a jigsaw puzzle. At times it seems a muddle, other times it’s difficult, testing, challenging and disheartening. Sometimes a few pieces slot together and you experience a sense of relief or happiness. And then it’s time for the next section which may prove tricky again. The picture of my life won’t be completed until I’ve finished my years on planet earth. And, as a believer in the afterlife, my earthly life will only make sense in the light of heaven.
So what do we do with jigsaw puzzles? And life? We persevere, we receive – and give – encouragement, we face up to challenges, we seek help when we need it, and we cling to the hope that, in the end, all will be well.