1,999 Versus The One

It took much longer than expected – nearly five weeks. I lost track of the number of times I wanted to quit and walk away. In the end though, I was victorious and very proud of my accomplishment.

I didn’t save a life, cure a disease, or convert an atheist. It was nothing substantial or even particularly noteworthy by most standards. I completed a 2,000-piece jigsaw puzzle; the biggest puzzle challenge in my “puzzling career!”

The puzzle was on loan to me from a friend who started it but failed to complete it, citing “it’s just too hard!”

I sympathized with my friend’s frustration, but I like a good puzzle challenge.

After working on this huge puzzle for weeks, upon completion I discovered that ONE PIECE WAS MISSING!  How monumentally disappointing! What a colossal waste of time!

The “nearly perfect” puzzle was displayed on my kitchen table for two weeks. Every time I walked by it, I fixated on that one missing piece. One measly piece shouldn’t have been a big deal – but it was.  The puzzle still had 1,999 pieces all perfectly connected to reveal a great picture. But everyone who saw the puzzle immediately noticed the ONE missing piece and offered an opinion.

Even my three-year-old granddaughter commented, “that puzzle is broken!”

For some reason, these negative comments made me think of a friend currently in the middle of a divorce. Relationships – all relationships, not just marriages – can sometimes have a lot of moving parts that fit together like a complicated puzzle, making them vulnerable to breakage.

One of the reasons many relationships break apart is because human nature seems bent on focusing on the “one missing piece;” that imperfect thing that consumes us.

My friend’s divorce is currently stalled while she waits for a court date. Apparently, last year’s pandemic lockdowns negatively impacted many, many marriages and the divorce courts have been inundated with petitioners. Too much time to focus on all of the things that are missing is a recipe for unhappiness.

Most marriages have a few missing pieces. After 34 years with my husband, three kids, two grandchildren, financial setbacks, arguments, lockdowns, quarantine, etc., etc., etc., … we know we are far from perfect. For ME, I choose (mostly) to focus on the 1,999 things that are working for us rather than focusing on the one thing (or two, three or more!) that my husband does that punch my ticket to Crazy Town!

I am thankful that God doesn’t focus on the numerous things we repeatedly do wrong. Our precious Lord is forgiving and loving and forgets our sins as soon as we ask His forgiveness.  He doesn’t focus on our missing pieces, no matter how broken we may seem at times. This is great news for us!Spouses, children, siblings, parents, friends … let’s not focus on the missing pieces! Let us work to FORGIVE one another and celebrate the 1,999 pieces that fit together perfectly!

Blessings In Christ, Kathy K.


Author: Kathy Kurlin

I am a wife, mother, grandmother and published author of three books. My true passion is to share the Gospel through the written word. I may not be a Pulitzer Prize winning author, but God tells us to be faithful with "little things," ... so at my Lord's pleasure ... I use my "little writing gift" to write for Him.

4 thoughts on “1,999 Versus The One”

  1. I love the illustration Kathy. To focus on ask the good things going on for us instead of the few that are hard (even if they drive us crazy!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *