At an all age service Anita had arranged four large pieces of paper to be cut into extremely large jigsaw pieces with drawings of elements you might find in a town, like shops and houses. At one point in the service the jigsaw pieces were joined together, at the front, on the floor, to make one large town. Lots of people were involved and focussed on this task but this all became secondary to me, because along came a tot in a green dinosaur top.
He shuffled along under the chairs and found a small paper piece of jigsaw which had been used as a prop earlier. He proceeded to try and fit this piece into the bigger picture. But it didn’t fit and it couldn’t be made to fit. Those involved in the big picture allowed him to weave in and out, to explore, and to try and make sense of what was going on in his own way. He wanted to be a part of it but didn’t know how and couldn’t make his contribution work. But when the big picture was lifted up he joined the others in holding it. He wasn’t a nuisance. He was welcomed. He was allowed to be himself. His curiosity was OK. And then he wandered off, climbed a chair and Stewart looked out for him. He tried the pulpit stairs and Ian was there to keep him safe. And finally at the end, he headed to the church exit and I was there with Nigel and I said, ‘Look, he’s going.’ And Nigel said, ‘Put him in your handbag, he’ll be OK. My handbag was pretty small, so I decided to take him in to a relative instead.
I feel God is saying that we can have a relationship with Him where we are free to explore and find our own way and that we can be supported by others in His church who will love us unconditionally. This is what Church should be. Oh … and never underestimate the power of a tot in a green dinosaur top, because you can find God, and He will speak to you, in the small things.
And a P.S.
Another member reflected that the ‘missing piece’ in the centre of the elements of Dereham highlighted in the jigsaw was the presence of Jesus. As Christians, individually and together as churches, the Holy Spirit can use us to be that ‘missing piece’ bringing God’s life-giving love and power into the town.