Putting Pieces Together- Look, See, Pray

Water Lilies, Ornamental Pond, Luton Hoo.

Jigsaws- love them or hate them? Ever tried doing a big jigsaw, only to find there’s ONE piece missing? Arghh! So frustrating- and leaving it incomplete is just plain wrong.

This photo was taken at Luton Hoo, a very exclusive estate/hotel. After a sumptuous Afternoon Tea, we wandered into the gardens. Water lilies are such attractive subjects: dynamic shape, strong colours and bold whites, and floating gently atop the water.

You can see the effect of the sunlight. The flower is popping out. The water is a mixture of blue sky reflections with darker transparent patches of shade- the twisted roots and stems can be seen clearly. Varied colours and shapes- purples and greens- of the leaves have an almost random pattern: and we can even see the “waterline” round the leaves where the edges of leaves rest on the water-tension boundary lines. I think this picture would make a challenging jigsaw…

Another way of looking at this photo is to take note of the role the LIGHT plays. The flower and floating leaves are brightly illuminated. The water reflects light differently because of the angle of sunlight, the way light is detected and interpreted by the human eye. Even individual colours are an interpretation of the light; and then the translation between optic nerve and the viewers’ brain.

It should all be easy! Waterlilies, pond, sun. What could go wrong?

Should I have “challenged” the natural reflections by using a polarising filter, reducing the light by aligning the energy (light) waves, thus altering the reflections and saturating the colours? That might improve the end result (or might not be to our taste).

Life is like a jigsaw, like this pond scene. Light shines and is reflected- but it all has to be interpreted to be understood or acted upon.

Jesus spoke of being the Light of the World. We have a choice: to live IN the light, or to hide from light in the shadows, in the dark. Our lives have many facets- all the different roles we have to play (parent, child, friend, colleague and so forth) – and every aspect will be interpreted according to the light that we see breaking into the darkness and confusion of broken society.

Suggestion for tonight: take time to look at your “picture” and identify the component parts. Examine each in turn. How well lit? Is this part shadowy, or are we blinded by too bright a reflection? As you do this, you can “move the parts round” to change the patterns, allow Light to enter our shadows- the only limit is your imagination. The only “boundary fences” are the ones we refuse to examine. If we prefer dark to light in some areas, we must ask why- and perhaps seek help from a trusted companion who can help us interpret.

Have fun with your jigsaw. Don’t lose any pieces, by accident OR design. It just may be a pathway to growth if we are open to taking the risk. Peace and grace to you- please remember it is the Light of Love that shines…


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