Smiling, I dove in the direction of my daughter. “Hey, look what they were giving out at church! It’s a piece of a jig-saw puzzle with a little pin attached! You are supposed to give these out and tell others what an important piece of the puzzle they are in life! I got a pile of ‘em! Isn’t this a great idea? Want some?”

She, puzzled about this style of connecting, was not impressed. I, on the other hand, thought it was a great way to connect all who just wanna fit in somewhere. She looked not only hesitant, but doubtful.

Quietly tossing them back into my pocket, I immediately regretted my actions. A little too exuberant, and a little too “in her face” was I. More unassuming she is, and while a connector, she has her own gentle way of doing things.

Funny thing though, my style doesn’t seem to change even after being made aware.

Case in point:

I was on Marketplace (a more expanded version of your local Buy and Sell online). That’s where I saw it “For Sale.” A Christmas Nativity set was calling my name. I began texting.

Me: Is this still available?

Seller: Yes

Me: Does it come with the stable?

Seller: Yea

Me: So the figurines are heavy plastic?

Seller: Yea

Me: I don’t mean to bug you but can you call me? (What fun is it to buy something without connecting and giving the whole back story of what you are going to use it for?)

Seller: I can’t talk. I’m at work. Just message me here.

Me: I up-cycle these items. (Assuming they care, I sent two short video clips of my completed projects.)

Several texts later with no response, I finally eke a thumbs up out of 'em.

I take the plunge and buy it. Immediately I begin texting once again.

Me: Did I get it?

Me: Did it go through?

Me: Sorry I keep bugging you.

Me: Did you delete me?

Me: I don’t blame you. Sorry! Can you just let me know if I’m the one who bought it?

Finally, with no fanfare, no connection, no thank you, no nothing…just a text reading,

“I’ll send it out as soon as possible, either today or tomorrow.”

Me: Yes! Thank you!

Innately it’s important to me that they know the crèche will be put to good use and that it’s in good hands. I want them to know I do not take their kindness of selling me their item for granted.

I suppose my story is a longer version of Romans 12:4-5. “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ.”

The words to Dana Stovall’s song put it in perspective.

“We are one body, one body I Christ.

And we do not stand alone.”

As we fit into His master puzzle, may we use the piece He’s gifted us well. Amen.

Kathleen Kjolhaug lives on the family homestead outside of Clearbrook with her husband Pete. She enjoys writing about family life and brings humor into the sacred moments of everyday living.

Theology in the Trenches appears in several local newspapers throughout Minnesota. Kathleen can be reached by e-mail at


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