Community in Action

Starting Something New


    This year for my birthday one of my daughters gave me a puzzle, a jigsaw puzzle, a jigsaw puzzle with 1,000 pieces. I think she was trying to make me crazy. Have you ever put together a 1,000 piece puzzle? Well, I haven’t, yet.

    Last week we spent some time at Pinecrest Lake staying at Joan’s family cabin, this cabin is shared by cousins in the McGrady-Hoyt clan. While there we started the puzzle I got for my birthday. We figured we might not quite finish it, but we started it expecting to give our best shot.

    We are still working on it. We brought it home divided into five different sections with almost the whole border finished, we think we are missing two pieces, but won’t know till we finish it completely.

    Doing a jigsaw puzzle takes a different mind set. I realized after about a day or so of trying to fit pieces into intricate cut outs that you can’t just take one piece at a time to fit in one hole at a time. I mean you can’t just look at all the pieces in front of you and recognize the piece that needs to fit into the slot you have available.

    You need to get an idea of shape of the piece and the shape of the place it goes. The color of the pieces can actually detract from you choosing the right piece, I think that is how they make it more frustrating, I mean more of a challenge.

    If you can try not to focus on color, but instead focus on the shape of the piece you are more likely to find the right location. I usually name the pieces to help me see the shapes, like one armed angel, or short legged person, or heart shaped corner. This helps me, most of the time.

    We are on day 9 of this odyssey and we have had times of excitement when pieces just fly into their respective spots, but again we are on day NINE!!!

    It is not always easy to learn to do something new. Sometimes it takes a reorientation of one’s mindset. As I mentioned using the colors generally is helpful at the beginning with the puzzle, but it is the shape that needs to take precedence.

    So too, our current situation takes a different mindset. We are learning we need to be more concerned about the person around us than usual. We need to think about their protection and not just ours. We need to be concerned about not compromising their health or their life, not just about ours.

    This is true of the corona virus as well as our race relations. I wonder if the pandemic and racial awareness are connected. Could it be that a virus was needed for us to understand that an underlying insidious festering of a long over due issue was at work in our world as well?

    I have followed the apartheid situation in South Africa since the 70’s. I thought it was tragic, and in places where that is still happening it is still tragic. But now I see that we have covered over our struggle with racial equality with a veneer that is just as damaging, just as unjust, just as in need of redemption as any other place in the world.

    I hope, and pray, that we can learn to talk about white privilege and our need to be more aware of our complicity in maintaining a racial divide which is long overdue for resolution. I don’t know the answer, but I know I am part of the problem. I pray that God can give us a new understanding of the needs of our brothers and sisters so we can develop the mindset needed to bring hope, peace, and justice to all who walk this earth.

    And when that happens I know the puzzle will be whole.

    Pastor Randy

Bible Search
Contents © 2021 John Knox Presbyterian Church • Church Website Builder by mychurchwebsite.netPrivacy Policy