A poetic reflection written for my wife (who loves Ravensburger puzzles) on the celebration of our 9th wedding anniversary.
If marriage was a Ravensburger puzzle…
Youâ€™d start with an image that shows you exactly how your relationship will look in the end.
There would be no mystery, no deviation from the plan, no surprise at the end that it didnâ€™t quite end up looking like the picture you imagined at the start.
As you worked to put it together, every piece would have its assigned place and with just a little time it would all eventually fit together perfectly, with each piece being placed down with an effortless and satisfying snap.
There would be no left overs, no pieces left to the side, nothing to be thrown away or sacrificed or accepted as simply just not meant to be.
Whenever you came across two pieces that didnâ€™t fit, there would be no conflict, no effort to make them work together, no change or compromise required. Youâ€™d just put it aside knowing that it would perfectly fit somewhere else in the puzzle.
And in the end, the perfect picture you created would look just like you expected and portray some beautiful photoshopped mountain landscape or a cute litter of puppies or a plate of immaculately decorated cupcakes.
And before you packed it all away, you would gaze upon your accomplishment with a sigh of perfect satisfaction.
If marriage was a Ravensburger puzzle.
But marriage is not a Ravensburger puzzle…
There is indeed a beautiful perfect picture of marriage that together you are trying to create – The marriage between Christ and His Church.
But your puzzle pieces come from two different boxes and with that comes two different pictures on the cover that you each imagine you will be creating.
You jumble all the pieces together and try to sort them out.
Of course one of you likes sorting by colour and the other by shape. One likes to work on the images in the middle and the other likes to find the edges first.
And the pieces donâ€™t exactly fit. Theyâ€™re not cut with precision. Some are big and some are small and some are cracked and some are missing and some have even lost their sticker.
They take compromise, sacrifice, creativity, problem-solving, laughter, tears, communication, prayer, mercy and forgiveness.
Some pieces need to be shoved together. Some need to be cut to fit. Some need to be thrown away. And some, youâ€™ll simply never find a place for, even though they look perfectly fine.
And now and then a couple of pieces will fit with that perfect Ravensburger snap, and it will be easy and effortless and leave you with a satisfying sigh. Enjoy those pieces.
But in the end the puzzle will be a mess.
A big beautiful 1,673.5 piece mess of a puzzle that will wonderfully display the ideal image on the box of Christ and the Church, not by its perfect symmatry, but by the love and sacrifice and joyful faithfulness by which it was put together.