Life is Puzzling, Isn’t It?
“We would be in grave danger were we unable to recognize the richness in each human person.”
-Saint John Paul II from “A Meditation on Givenness”
I LOVE meeting people. I get nervous sometimes because I am hyper aware of awkward situations, but I still LOVE meeting people. Why? You may ask. Well, I enjoy seeing the image of God that people reflect. Since all people are made in the image and likeness of God, there is something about each person that mirrors who God is. There is something about you and something about me that makes us incomparable to any other person on earth. WOW. In Saint John Paul II’s “A Meditation on Givenness”, he says when God gave him a person to know, “he also tasked me with them, and now I could easily write a separate book about each of them.” Saint John Paul II was impacted by the gift of each person he met, so much so that he could write a book about them. He knew the value of each person and couldn’t resist knowing them.
Each person is a unique puzzle piece. As each one is discovered, the image of God is slowly revealed to us. The more people I meet and the more puzzle pieces I can see, the clearer God’s face becomes for me. I just started working at a daycare for the summer, and it is a lot of fun. I love working with kids because they are unapologetically who they were created to be. All of them, just like any person, desire to be known. That is why it is so important for me to know these kids, to listen to them, and to love them. In my interactions with them it becomes my desire that none of them ever feel ignored or alone even though one day they may find themselves facing those struggles. All humans innately desire what God desires which is to be seen, known, and loved by us. And while we have a part to play in this, He is the only one that can fulfill that desire.
So, there are an infinite amount of puzzle pieces, how can I piece them all together? A person only has so much energy. This task is much more simple than you may think. Pay attention to the people God is giving to you such as the people you feel called to talk to, or give a simple smile as they walk by. There are unique gifts spread among all people that each of us need to experience. Someone may hold a gift which God wants to use to benefit my life that I am completely unaware of which is why we need to seek out and love the people God is specifically giving us. In the podcast “Mutual Help” by Catholic Stuff You Should Know, the priests discuss that receiving our brothers and sisters in Christ with reverence is essential. People must accept each person for who they are and not what is desired of them to be. After that is accomplished, they should then pray for that person. Following this, the priests go on to say, “Only when men have reverenced and offered intercession for one another can they truly encourage one another and build one another up.” Humans cannot fully understand others without appreciating who they are and then sincerely interceding for them.
Everyone has a story, and it deserves to be read. You are a precious puzzle piece and worthy of being seen, known, and loved because God created us worthy. Do not be afraid of meeting someone; embrace the awkwardness. “God believes in you, trusts that you are capable of receiving the gift, that you are capable of embracing it with your heart, that you have the capacity to respond to it with a gift of yourself.” -Saint John Paul II, “A Meditation on Givenness”.