The Missing Piece

Life’s puzzle doesn’t go back to normal after you have children. Instead, you rearrange your pieces to find a new normal, and a new way to put things together.

Trying to sweep together some puzzle pieces that no longer quite fit is frustrating.

It’s worse after someone dies, because now, there is a piece completely missing, and no matter how hard you try, there is a big hole. The satisfaction of snapping the last piece in place is utterly impossible, because there is no last piece.

Not here, anyway.

This separation of death is not natural. It is not part of the natural order, and grief tells us that. We were never meant to be ripped asunder from one another by this ugly specter. We were meant to live forever.

Really, there’s nothing beautiful about death at all.

It is hideous. It is the closest I will ever get to Hell.

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

~1 Corinthians 15:54-58 (NIV)

The only beauty associated with death comes after the fact, for those whose faith is firmly rooted in Christ. While that comforts me in so many ways, and brings me peace, it doesn’t replace the missing piece of the puzzle here. The landscape is incomplete.

I still have to live with that gaping hole until my own death is swallowed up in victory.

It’s hard. Grief is hard. Some days, it’s less hard. The only thing I know is that time, and the grace of God, will smooth out grief’s rough edges, and polish it until it begins to have its own beauty in me. It will become a polished and lovely stone, a jewel fit to give the King when I finally see Him face to face.

When the missing piece is finally put back into place, never to be lost again.

Grace & Peace,

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