January 15

Written by Bill Grandi on January 15th, 2024

One of my favorite pastimes/hobbies was doing 1000 piece jigsaw puzzles. Many, many hours have been spent bent over a table building puzzles. Cold, winter weather was only good in my mind for killing insects and staying inside to build puzzles. I’ve slowed down in recent years because I have to admit to being a “puzzle snob” i.e. there are only certain ones I would do (Titanic & trains mostly), plus I didn’t want to spend the money on the ever-increasing price of having leisure. However, I was given a panoramic puzzle of PNC Park (Pirates baseball field) which I did, glued and gave away to a sports memorabilia collector, and one of the Pittsburgh skyline. I finally decided to do the skyline starting last Thursday.

I’ve been watching it come together. Sorting pieces throughout the “edge-finding” stage, has me sort of guessing pieces that go together. I then bunch them in a certain pile to be sorted later. Often, I find out I was wrong and they actually belonged somewhere else. This puzzle is s-l-o-w-l-y coming together, piece by piece (makes sense right?). Often I will have little side projects going on as “like pieces” are found. Eventually, I get to incorporate them into the greater puzzle. Sometimes it is literally a slog through seemingly endless tries. And then sometimes it is like voila! One piece pulls in another and another until multiple pieces later a bigger picture emerges.

One of my favorite groups is a Christian power metal group called Theocracy (I know that is probably not most of my readers cup of tea). Their most recent recording includes a song called Mosaic. The song, as you can probably surmise by the title, is a take on broken pieces made into a beautiful piece of glass. Out of the ugliness of broken glass the artisan can make something beautiful. A snippet of lyrics says, “‘Cause after all, the pieces fall landing where they may/You never left or chose to throw it all away/An unknown future, broken past/Like imperfect panes of glass/Revealing a larger grand design.” (Lyrics by Matt Smith-2023)

Life is a mosaic, very often made up of broken pieces of glass. No one’s life is perfect; we are made of broken pieces of glass. But we have an Artisan, a Creator, a Master Craftsman, who loves us, never leaves us, and puts us all back together. Sin breaks us; He rebuilds us. He will take broken, disjointed fragments and put them back together in the right place, making sense of it all. He makes a beautiful mosaic out of broken, shattered lives.

He’s done if for me. He’s done it for people I know. Let Him do it for you.


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. What a fantastic analogy, Bill! The Master Craftsman will take all our broken pieces to create a picture of love and grace.

  2. We do puzzles all winter and every year I feel God speaking lessons to me through the process.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I have some I’ll be glad to send you! 🙂 Those I don’t glue I put in a ziploc bag to either build again or give to someone. And yes, He is always teaching lessons.

  3. Ryan S says:

    I have taken up the challenge of attempting to read through the entire Bible Chronologically this year using YouVersion’s Bible App. Despite some of the chunkiness of the app and it’s failure, at times, to store and retrieve my progress, it has been good. Your post reminds me of the broken lives God uses continually throughout the narratives and history of the Bible. Men and women lacking faith at times and then other times having great faith. Men and Women making poor decisions that God ultimately uses anyway to further His plan. God did not use clean and antiseptic people to be the line Jesus would ultimately be born through. He used ordinary, and in some cases, pretty despicable people to do so.

    –Not to get in a game of comparisons that Christians can sometimes do… but if God can use murderers, adulterers, thieves, liars, cheaters, etc.. to bring Jesus to the world through…

    I think He can use me to lead a ministry, help the homeless, and reach the lost.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      What a great contribution Ryan! You are right about God using men and women who are great warriors one moment and then failures the next. And IMHO He is using you in the three you mentioned.

  4. gail says:

    I think our christian lives are a lot like puzzles. We often have side projects going on, we often see ourselves as working hard for the kingdom, we believe our hearts are in the right place, we think we spend just the right amount of time in Gods word. However, it takes God to shore up our border pieces, transform our hearts, and open our eyes to the truth, and to help us to see the many holes we have in our christian lives. Often times we do not see our own weaknesses as we should see them. Thankfully, God sees our entire life puzzle, He constantly fits the missing pieces into our life. God works with us, to help us to see how our life puzzle is a part of His bigger kingdom puzzle.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Great analogy Gail. I, for one, am glad God does just what you describe here. He has certainly made sense of my puzzle.