Ann Farabee column: The missing piece

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 26, 2022

By Ann Farabee

We knew it would be a masterpiece because we were working our first mystery puzzle. Instead of dumping the pieces on the table and looking at the picture on the box as our guide, we had taken on the challenge of not looking at the box and not knowing what the puzzle picture would be.

Slowly — and after much longer than a puzzle normally took — it was brought to completion, almost. We were missing one piece. Yes, one piece. The puzzle maintained its residence on the table much longer than our previous puzzles, because without that one piece, we knew it was not complete.  The puzzle would remain there until it was.

A mystery? A puzzle? A mystery puzzle? Yes, not only had the picture on the puzzle been a mystery, but now puzzle piece No. 1,000 was missing.

The words mystery and puzzle both can be defined as something baffling or perplexing, because it cannot be fully understood. Life sure can feel like that, can’t it? As our puzzle of life is put together piece by piece, a beautiful picture is formed. It is a mystery — a beautiful mystery.

We are all different. We all have a story, and we are all an important part of God’s handiwork. We cannot see how our story will look when it is finished, but God can.

Sometimes, it feels as though we are just moving pieces of our “life puzzle” around, trying to force them into places where they do not fit.

Why do they not fit there?  They do not fit there because they were not made to fit there.

Yes, a piece of our puzzle had gone missing, and that was not OK. The puzzle would never be complete, unless we found it.

Did we search for the missing puzzle piece? Yes, diligently! We searched chairs, cushions, tables, drawers, furniture, cabinets, under the carpet, in the washing machine and in the dryer. We searched everywhere we thought a piece of puzzle would hide. Finally, I suggested a search through the dirty vacuum cleaner bag — and there it was! I happily dusted it off and used it to bring about the completion of the mystery puzzle.

Matthew 18:11-13 tells of a shepherd that had 100 sheep. One wandered away and was lost. Would the shepherd leave the 99 to search for the one? He sure did. When he found the one, he rejoiced more over it than over the 99 who did not go astray.

That is how we felt when we found the one missing puzzle piece. Without it, the puzzle would not have been complete.

The shepherd came looking for us when we went astray and rejoiced when he found us. Without the one, the flock was not complete.

Some things I cannot understand. Why, Jesus, would you come looking for us? Why would you go searching for the one? We are not worthy.

But I know the answer. Jesus came to save that which was lost — that was us. He formed us. He loves us. He has prepared a place for us and heaven would not be complete without us.

Thank You, heavenly father, for looking for the one.

I am the one.  So are you.

Ann Farabee is a teacher, writer and speaker. Contact her at or  

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