Weary of life and living, my world no longer made sense.
A friend noticed. He handed me a gray cardboard box.
I lifted the lid.
“There must be a thousand puzzle pieces in here!”
“Trust me, it’ll help.”
I shoved the box back at him.
“I don’t have time for games.”
“Life is no game. Call me when you’re ready.”
“You mean, when I’m finished.”
“I mean, when you’re ready.”
I dumped the pieces on the dining room table. A montage of images began to appear— Protestors thrusting guns at heaven. Trembling towers on fire. Swollen-bellied children, food for flies. A yellow-taped crime scene. An infant’s funeral.
Compared to these, my troubles paled. Was I to feel better for this?
I called my friend.
“This isn’t helping.”
“Do you see where grace fits in?”
“Grace? There’s no grace in this puzzle!”
“You’re not ready. Call me when you’re ready.”
Weeks passed. A dozen times I moved to clear the table. Something wouldn’t let me. The puzzle took shape, piece by disturbing piece.
And then, it made sense. I phoned my friend.
“There’s one piece missing.”
“I’ll be right over.”
Together we pondered the turmoil of the images.
In the center of the puzzle was a cross-shaped hole.
My friend said,
“It’s the only way to make sense of this world.”
“The missing piece…do you have it?”
With outstretched hand, he offered me the cross.