The Jigsaw Puzzle – Metaphor for the Synodal Journey

Each piece of a jigsaw puzzle represents a human story – the story of a lay person, a clergy, a bishop.

Each piece has a different shape, different contour, different colour – no one person’s story is the same as another’s. Alone by itself, every piece is like a fish out of water, helpless, lifeless, of no use at all.

We are all jumbled together in the box of life waiting to be opened and spread out on the table. In the dark and confined box of individuality, there is no meaning, no value, no purpose. 

Synod is the moment God opens the box, spreads out all the pieces of the puzzle on the table of life.

Each piece is a story, an incomplete story, an unfinished symphony, a story that only has significance when it’s put together with the whole. Slowly, meticulously, and patiently, God works night and day to match the pieces together. 

It takes time. Like the story of the earth, the story of humans, the story of societies, it takes days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, millions and billions of years to unfold. As the pieces are placed together, gradually the story of the whole begins to be revealed. 

But the revelation of the complete story isn’t without a painful and challenging process.

Some pieces of the puzzle are hidden under other pieces, others seem to resemble, while others may be missing, either fallen to the ground or accidently misplaced.

Methodically and faithfully God works, searches and finds each piece, putting every piece together. Because every piece is important, and every piece is an incomplete story, the story of every piece becomes significant by simply being part of the whole.

The journey becomes complete when every piece has found a unique place in the whole – the attractive, the ugly, the small, the large, the crocked – all have a place. Only when every piece finds a place in the whole that the story of the whole is revealed.

Everyone is a piece of that puzzle. Everyone has a significant place in the whole. Make yourself available to the whole, and the beauty of the whole will be revealed.

Synod is a journey of piecing together the puzzle of the People of God. 

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