Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Puzzles, Pictures, and Writing
In the end, the puzzle was missing seven pieces. I didn't really care. It seemed like an analogy for life. In our earthly perspective, life looks like a puzzle and we sometimes think there's pieces missing, things we can't see or understand. In a heavenly view, the picture is perfect and everything is there. God is in control. Putting the puzzle together gave me time to meditate upon the subject of the puzzle: Simeon holding Jesus. He'd waited all his life for this one little moment—a moment when the last piece of the puzzle fell into place for him.
It's an old saying that "a picture is worth a thousand words." With my artistic skills, I'd rather write the thousand words than try drawing or painting that picture. Yet both words and pictures have the power of reaching people. The early church used paintings and drawings (icons) to tell the stories of the Gospel to an illiterate world. Simeon's Moment is one picture that I've always loved, because it captures for me that short story in the Bible, tells so much more of the story than just the words can convey.
Putting puzzles together is a lot like writing. A writer has a stack of ideas, characters, plots, settings—all the pieces. Somehow, those things have to come together into a story, a picture that makes sense for the reader and even makes them think about something in a way that they hadn't before. It takes a lot of time and concentration to do a puzzle or write a story. And both the writer and the puzzle piecer must have some sort of vision of the finished piece—even if it's hazy or small—to work towards.