How would you feel after working many, many hours to assemble every piece of a beautiful puzzle-picture, only to notice the very last & significant piece is missing?? That missing piece disrupts the effectiveness of the whole picture’s beauty intended. The vacancy is more easily noticed than the splendor of the scene.
My grandmother loved jigsaw puzzles. She loved those 500+piece- puzzles and worked diligently on them for weeks! I have great childhood memories of helping her with them during my family’s summer trips to visit. In fact, I mostly helped her because it was a great way to enjoy just spending time with her.
On one occasion, I remember noticing one puzzle was nearing completion. After working so long it became obvious that ONE PIECE was MISSING!!! The picture could not be finished! So, after all those hours, the beautiful picture was marred by that piece’s noticeable absence.
 I wonder if we ever consider how our ABSENCE from church fellowships, classes & worship often keeps various ‘pictures in life’ from being the completed, beautiful picture it is intended to be. Just like a puzzle that has been assembled except for one piece, a person’s EMPTY SPOT DETRACTS from the beauty and completeness of the picture God wants to view. The ‘majority of the picture’ may be appreciated, but the reality is it is incomplete.! Our place needs to be given serious consideration with regard to how each one affects the rest of the Body. Even if I do not yet know the person that would be sitting in the empty pew, my own heart mourns with sorrow whenever I see an empty space that would otherwise be filled by YOU.
Are we fulfilling OUR PART of the picture of Christ’s Body to be built up in love? Are we a piece of the bigger picture that is helping hold together the pieces that surround us? Perhaps we are puzzled by the ABSENCE of others. Let us not leave others puzzled about our part as we accept OUR PLACE. Let us BE IN OUR PLACE to help the world see the picture as Christ would have it.
 Paul’s letter exhorts us to. . .  “[speak] the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, WHEN EACH PART IS WORKING PROPERLY, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Eph 4:15-16 ESV) We each have a place within the Body of Christ (the church).
May We All Have A Great Day Being Where We Belong.


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