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It seems to me, life is a jigsaw of I finding out and adding to. Faith itself is built that way.
If we put a piece in the jigsaw from every gem of knowledge we receive, every happiness and every blessing, the pattern represents our faith.
Every positive in one's life is recorded by a jigsaw piece. Every person who influences our lives in a constructive way is recorded and every friend who has contributed significantly or sustained us by that friendship. Every good deed or endeavour for the welfare of other, every joy of success achieved in our jobs or recreation and the love we receive and give is faithfully recorded in some way as divine hand decides. An indelible memory,such as finding a wildflower, is part of the picture being built up.
The border of the jigsaw is the easiest part to complete and consists of our childhood background and our biological and inherent characteristics that necessarily influence and form the basis of our lives.
No one can escape one's environment so faith is what one builds up. If faith is in what we know (the late Revd. Browning) it is based on experience and knowledge and is distinguished from hope by that definition.
A child who dies young has a small jigsaw. Adults have a medium sized jigsaw and gifted and great people have much more to record: many successes it and achievements such as a doctor of medicine and a person of great charity like Mother Teresa of Calcutta whose picture probably has only a few spaces to be filled in.
A space represents a deprivation of faith or the remaining ie. unfulfilled part of one's life. No sin or evil is ever recorded: everything we have done wrong or badly has no place on the jigsaw of faith by definition. There are spaces for all suffering, trauma and deprivation but the spaces are part of the incomplete picture. No one can interpret accurately the character of the unfinished work of faith. The Lord places the pieces as he sees fit and only He sees the final result in entirety. We may see it ourselves at the end of our life and at the beginning of the new.
The jigsaw of a criminal would have many negatives but pictures can be painted from both the positive and negative aspects and the image or picture here may be no less clear: it is not for us to say. Perhaps every last piece will be filled in at the time of his death.
The starving child in Africa may have many spaces and gaps in the border of his jigsaw before he receives food, comfort and care. As the child's health and happiness is established the inside of the jigsaw gradually builds up and some border pieces are inserted by almighty and merciful hands to replace some of the misery.
Mental and physical suffering and sickness create empty spaces in the jigsaw. If it is acute or chronic the Lord may only deliver us at the time of our death. But in promising to restore our health to us (Jeremiah 30:17) and joy in this life (Luke 10 25/28) His intention is clear.
Sometimes the restoration of a sadness or broken heart takes half a lifetime but when He heals no scar is left: He restores every hurt perfectly and unconditionally.
As our life advances the jigsaw of our life is taking form, pattern, image or picture. Where there is great achievement much of the pattern will be filled in; where there is great love or charity the eyes and face of the Lord may be very clear in that person's jigsaw of faith. Where deprivation and suffering is acute Christ's eyes or compassion may show quite clearly against a negative or incomplete background. The pictures are never to be seen complete: no one knows the full extent of another's difficulties in life. Many pictures will be vague in some respects. Those who have not met the Lord may still live well; have a colourful and strong optimism and so do much that is good and useful. Perhaps they will see Christ's face late in life even His face in the snow when it may become clear at last.
The jigsaw at the end of one's life may be entirely different from someone else's, it may have few pieces to fill in or many but the Lord intends, I believe, that any remaining negatives will be restored in the next life, the whole to be the basis of the new adventure of eternal life. Are we perfect at that moment?
His face, even to believers may not be clear. The jigsaw of one's faith in life is ever an impression as many things affect our lives outside of faith. In dying perhaps it is only the saints who do not open their eyes at the moment of death. The eyes of an unconscious person may open suddenly at the exact moment of revelation. Even to the faithful the extent of the glory must be unexpected. Some like me who believe they have seen His face may need to walk across the fields towards Him. It is not a question of whether we see his face or even when we see
His face but that We shall see His face.

I am a simple wild plum tree.
I have a hope and a commitment as well as a dream.
One day when my time comes I shall join the many and the most beautiful of trees, less humble than myself, and those bearing different fruits every month of the year. My displays and endeavours will pave the way to Paradise for me.
And I shall find the place allotted to me on one side or other of the River. The trees of knowledge will be restored there from all fear as is promised to all who live and work to His praise and glory. I know that my place in the environment on earth is equal to that of man himself even if every other creature and wildflower creates a balance for the rest. I take in man's poisons, recycle them and breathe out instead at night, the sweet, sweet oxygen of survival.
So many trees yet few are chosen. My early history is not known to my family who owned the property for fifteen years of my life.
Thirty years ago when my family came I had grown a strong black, divided trunk planted in front of a red brick pillar with a fence of heavy black wire which may have been a slight impediment to my growth. For some reason or because the Lord required it of me, I grew fairly tall, ten to fifteen feet, but away from the light, not to it, and over towards the lawn, the white house at Kingston Beach.
I gradually followed the trend, towards the house, and grew almost a ceiling creating a variety overhead of twelve different displays of my talent. I almost reached the sitting room window which I always protected and where the desk was placed diagonally in front of it. I never resented anything in my life, not the startling yellow English marigolds placed on the desk or the tiny Cecil Brunner rosebuds from the back garden. It was a pleasure where I looked through the window.
I wasn't pruned much or encouraged to change much for which I am grateful. As a healthy tree, I did not tolerate bugs or slugs. I loved the black sandy soil, my roots going down into the fine loam ensuring my very real stability.
The birds visited but not a lot: There were few gardens to attract them even when fruit was one of the cycles I presented and my few large thorn, distributed thinly, stopped our cat and others from seeking entertainment or refuge in my branches.
Persons looking out in their garden would see the beauty and the myriad of black boughs, delicate but bare and now with the light no longer obscuring my foliage. And still we had the privacy where it was needed and expected of me. If my family did not show me a lot of attention, the sign of wonder was in their eyes at the splendour of all my seasons, expecting no doubt, the usual four. There was invariably something of me new to see. I surprised them every time, every year and with every seasonal difference.
I had so many attributes, all personal and distinctive and all related, I know, to a very great conception. I was proud to be the mechanism by which my role was executed and my deepest hope now is that because I found my own qualities for myself, and rather unexpected too, my commitment to my destiny is made manifest in every- thing I produce and in my remaining labour to this end.
In the Spring the white flowers appear on the black branches; bridal, prolific and always my pride to share. Green shoots follow; green leaves next; red tips appear. There are red and green leaves, red leaves, plum coloured leaves and deep purple leaves. Purple plums hang among leaves of same hue, small but edible as the local youth rationalise and raid them.
Nine seasons you will say. No tree or man knows the nature of deliverance and what rejuvenation entails. If the Lord has new functions for me, he will fulfil them in his time, which will be my time also.
I think the new owner will fell me. The horror. The terror, but if it is different fruit, different flowers leaves or thorn or any other task, design or aspiration to be required of me, I don't know. I don't need to know. I need only the faith, a shower of rain and my service to find at last, THE CRYSTAL RIVER.