Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

July 29, 2004

Rummaging in the Puzzle Box

Sometimes I feel like I've got this box of jigsaw puzzle pieces. I rummage about, pick up a piece randomly, glancing at it, putting it down. On good days, I manage to fit a few together, begin to build a picture. It's beautiful, satisfying. But on other days it seems like nothing fits. It's a very large jigsaw puzzle, you know. And you don't ever get to the end of it. Not in this life.

Just for the record: I'm trying to look at blogging that way. It's the beginning of the process, not the end. It's trying one piece after another to see if they fit, rather than displaying the finished puzzle, a beautiful picture of a mountain or a lake or a box of chocolates. It's rummaging, guessing, figuring, trying out, stumbling on the happy accident that gives you a slightly larger glimpse of "the big picture." It's writing out of your unknowing, not your knowing. It's plodding ignorance on display. I think maybe that's all we ever do in any case.

I so appreciate Lucy's comment yesterday. I'll quote it in full: "What about other people's role in enabling our freedom? I fully agree that it comes from God, but the Christian life is threefold isn't it, with other people as well. People can help or hinder our freedom."

A major yes to that! People enlarge our space. Relationships help us escape the limitation of self. The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of people in redeemed relationships. Amazing! Everyone, Christian and non-Christian, essentially understands this, however difficult we tend to make it.

Jesus put mud on a blind man's eyes, and he was transferred from a kingdom of darkness to a kingdom of light, from a narrow and confining place to a broad and spacious and light-filled place. From near despair, to joy.

"Love one another, as I have loved you." When you love someone, you lift them up, you fill their world with light, you redeem a relationship from ordinariness, even possibly from enmity. You take this colossal risk in faith, because it's doing what Jesus did. People, when they've loved you, have in doing so reached into your cage and beckoned you toward freedom. God has arranged things this way. He gives us his Spirit so that we can be enabled to bring redeeming love into the circumstances, the makeshift arrangements, even the broken relationships, of this fallen world. Brothers, Sisters, we are not meant to travel this path alone.


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