I loved collecting coins as a kid. My first coin was a prize I found at the bottom of a cereal box, and each box featured a coin from a different country that you can collect. I can’t explain it but something about collecting a coin that passed through so many hands and had a minute part in so many lives was awe inspiring to me as a kid. Whenever our town had its semiannual local flea market I made a bee line straight to the coin man’s table. He would hand me a coin and I would carefully look it over checking for the date, scratches, and any other interesting characteristics. My meager allowance kept my coin collection small but I cherished everyone I bought. I don’t collect them anymore but I still glance at them from time to time and I’m reminded of that childhood spirit of collecting.
Now, as a husband and a father of two, I collect puzzle pieces, spiritual puzzle pieces. I believe that each one of us is born with a piece of a God-Sized puzzle. This piece represents how we see and interact with each other and with the universe. Our pieces may look similar but each is personally unique to the bearer like a snowflake or a fingerprint. Whenever I meet someone new I walk away with a copy of their puzzle piece. They may be Hindu, Buddhist, Mormon, or even an Atheist, but by understanding their view of reality my love for humanity increases. There is no border, no end to this God-Sized puzzle which grows as we find new pieces, and when spiritual travelers cross paths, pieces are traded further enriching each other’s journey.
I wish to collect these spiritual puzzle pieces and spend a lifetime putting the puzzle together. The very act of assembling the puzzle is Heaven to me and is more rewarding than any attempts to complete it. Because what else can you do with a finished puzzle then to glue it to cardboard, frame it, and hang it on your wall awaiting ‘Ooos and ahhs’ from friends and family. Every time I receive a new piece it opens my heart to a new expression of the overall beauty of the Cosmos. I believe at the heart of this puzzle is eternal beauty which flowers outward as eternal love. I choose to call this God, although others may call it by a different name. Little by little, as my puzzle grows, my appreciation and love for God and my fellow Man flowers and blooms.
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