Ever since I was little, I have always been captivated by puzzles. There’s something so exciting about receiving a box of chaos, knowing full well that with enough time, care, and dedication, from the chaos there will come calm and structure. I’ve enjoyed puzzling as a solitary activity for much of my life, choosing to take that time to think and reflect on the happenings around me. In the past few years, puzzling has transformed itself into a platform for relationships. I like to think that the act of puzzling takes pressure off of social situations; you can simply sit in silence and work on the puzzle, or talk while keeping your hands busy.

I also like to think of people as puzzles, all starting off as boxes of chaos just waiting to be assembled. We have this box with a bunch of different pieces with different patterns in it that, with enough time, care, and dedication, will create an image that has yet to be discovered. With every heartache that is felt, laugh that is laughed, tear that is shed, and experience that is lived, our puzzle pieces fall into place. With time, we begin to understand why certain pieces are there because they are connected to other pieces and without each and every puzzle piece, the image will never be made whole.

The youth home opened a few weeks ago, and I have had the privilege to get to know the 6 amazing girls who have moved in. One of the activities that we have been doing together is.. you guessed it, working on puzzles. Over the past three weeks, we have successfully completed five puzzles, and I have no doubt that this will continue. While sitting and puzzling with these girls, I have had the opportunity to hear about parts of their lives and the journeys that have brought them here. I love this time with them because it’s so easy to talk when working on something; it truly is a platform for relationship building with them. We’re hoping to get a table that we’ll designate to just puzzles, and we’re also wanting to get puzzle glue that will allow us to hang up our completed masterpieces. It’s going to be so cool to see all of the finished puzzles, because they will represent all of the time spent together and the bonds that have formed.

In the same vein, I know that each of these humans have their own boxes of chaos that they need to work on. The really cool part is that they have so many other humans who are ready to help them sort through all those pieces, and hopefully by the end of their time here, a few of the pieces will be put together. Maybe they’ll have answers to some really tough questions, broken relationships will be mended, or they will have found something that truly inspires them. No matter what the image looks like, it’s really exciting to know that we have the chance to be a part of its assembly.


Hope Taylor

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