Today I’m taking part in Christine Sine’s Lenten series on Godspace. The theme for this week is the brokenness of God’s family, and below is the start of my post.
For Lent this year, I chose to add this jigsaw puzzle by American artist Charles Wysocki.
On one level it’s a stylized version of Americana–a rural setting with a large sheep in the foreground, with more sheep, simple buildings, and trees in the background.
And yet for me this jigsaw puzzle has also become a way of slowing down and becoming quiet. I’m not particularly legalistic about it. I don’t have to work on it every day. I don’t have a deadline of completing it before Lent is over. But every so often I pause to put a few more pieces together–a few moments in the morning or on my lunch break, perhaps a longer time some evening.
I chose this puzzle in part because of the title. Charles Wysocki called it “Shepherd’s Pal” which is so appropriate for this Lenten season as I reflect on Jesus, the Great Shepherd, the One who lays down his life for his sheep, who knows each one of us by name and calls us (John 10:1-18). It reminds me that whatever I might do, whatever roles I might have in life, I am the Shepherd’s pal so to speak–a follower of Jesus with the great honor of being called his friend (John 15:15).
This jigsaw puzzle also helps me to connect with the brokenness and healing of God’s family. As the body of Christ, the church is meant to be whole and healthy, to function together with each part contributing to the whole (1 Corinthians 12:1-31). To change the Pauline metaphor, perhaps we could also say that the church is like a giant jigsaw puzzle where each piece is part of the bigger picture.
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