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November 29, 2004 - "Kyle's Puzzle" by Roger Cook



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"Many individuals have, like uncut diamonds, shining qualities beneath a rough exterior." -Decimus Junius Juvenalis


As the mother of another little boy who was also created special and different, Kyle's tribute by both his mother and family friend, Roger Cook, touched my heart. I was especially delighted with the description of this choice young man, and both poems by his mom and Roger... an unusual weave of love that I am happy to share with our online family!

"Kyle's Puzzle"
By Roger Allen Cook

I recently had the opportunity to watch a thirteen-year-old boy named Kyle work on a jigsaw puzzle. The pieces of the puzzle were a little larger than the ones that I enjoy doing, but that is completely understandable. Kyle is a severely mentally impaired teenager, who suffers from seizures, and as a result has poor motor skills.

If you were to meet Kyle, his problems would be immediately obvious; yet there he was, successfully taking individual pieces, finding their place within the puzzle, matching the notches, and gradually making the fragmented picture whole again. Life, in general, has certainly not been easy for Kyle and his family as they lovingly work to put the pieces of his life together to help him be all that he can be in spite of many difficulties.

God has a plan for Kyle, as He has a plan for each of us. God's plan is for us to become a picture of His grace, that is developed over the days of life that He ordains. If we surrender all the pieces to Him, He will fit each one together for His special purpose and create a beautiful scene for all to appreciate.

The picture of Kyle's life will not portray all the opportunities that some lives will, but that is not a problem. Kyle handles all his difficulties with patience while almost never complaining. He merely accepts whatever the day brings. He has become a neon display of God's providence and love for one who could be described as a weaker vessel. Weaker, perhaps, but less valuable?never!

The God of Heaven is a Master at using the weak things of this world to bring glory to Himself. After all, He chose us to be His children. And as the Apostle Paul said, ".when I am weak, then I am strong." In thinking about Kyle and his puzzle, I remember that God answered Paul's plea for healing with the words, "My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." That advice is for all of us, including Kyle.

As I consider the puzzle that has been my life, and some of the mismatched pieces that I have vainly tried to fit together, I wonder how God perceives it all. When He sees Kyle and me standing together, I wonder which of us He considers being "the weaker vessel"? I dare say that there might be many who would not fare well in that type of comparison.

Hang in there, Kyle! One day your God will make all things new as we shed our earthly vessels of weakness for eternal robes of perfection in Jesus Christ. Your parents look forward to that heavenly day when they can have a long conversation with you, and together you can say, "Isn't God's grace a wonderful thing?"

Hey, what happened to that last piece of straight edge? It was here a minute ago. You don't suppose Kyle is hiding it so he can put the last touch on the puzzle do you? Nah, he wouldn't do that?would he?

"The Potter's Plan"
by Kelly Thomas
Dedicated to Kyle Thomas by his mother

Not perfection, not polished, not a type to be put on display,
Perhaps he's just the Potter's less than perfect lump of clay.

Not fashioned like the others, nor made with the same mold,
Can this vessel be useful? "Yes!" from the Potter we are told.

"I have an eternal purpose that you will understand some day:
Not to be used like the others, not to serve in the same way.

"I made him carefully and with love just like all of the rest,
With special design and promise, and sure to stand the test.

"I did not shape him improperly, not hastily, nor out of spite,
But to accomplish My great plan of which I have the right.

"He'll touch the lives of people who others could not touch,
I've created this vessel unique and I love him very much!

"If you see a vessel that appears ungraceful, unlike the rest,
Be assured of this My promise, what I make is always the best!"

Kelly Thomas copyright 2004
Contact Kelly Thomas at

"But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand." Isaiah 64:8

"The Puzzle"
by Roger Allen Cook

The picture was very beautiful
Gracing the outside of the box-
The clouds and heavens above,
The water, the ships, the rocks.

Inside things were very different.
There were pieces of every shape
That when properly put together
Will present a lovely landscape.

A machine had taken the image
Then precisely cut each tiny bit,
With straight edges and notches,
Each one needing the perfect fit.

Then the piecing process begins
As one by one the parts are wed,
Matching color, notch and edge,
Just as quickly as the eye is led.

Slowly the amalgam emerges.
Individual images become one.
Sections are partnered together,
And the puzzle is finally done.

Our lives just like a great puzzle
Are pieced together day by day-
Different parts at different times
In colors from turquoise to gray.

Looking at each individual piece
The appearance does not inspire.
Being appropriately fit together
Is all that your God will require.

He guides every step of the way
In the life which belongs to Him.
Parts that were once all scattered,
With His help begin looking trim.

Let the Master builder construct
The pieces into a beautiful whole,
Unified in God's graceful purpose
And complete, under His control.

Roger Allen Cook copyright 2004

Roger is an educator, minister and author of a book of devotional poetry entitled Sailing by Grace which is available at He is happily married and has four children and five grandchildren. You can find other items from Roger in the 2theheart archives, such as Sailing by Grace, Authored By Grace, The Banquet, All of Her, All of Him, Greg's Broccoli, The Prayer, etc.


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The Letter Box:

Dear 2TheHeart,

I really liked Sharon Foster's "Thanks Giving" story, and it reminded me to be grateful for everything, small as well as big blessings.

Also, I was very impressed with Robert White's message to Kevin about the family rolls recipe. His question, "Isn't life like a recipe?" definitely caused me to think deeply, and I just love it when written words do that. Sometimes the Letter Box entries are as wonderful as the story submissions!

Keep up the good work, and happy holidays to 2The Heart and all its readers!

Love and blessings,
Sandi Pound, FL

2theheart family,

As everyone can see, I am a little late reading A Family Recipe. This year my heart is breaking as my sister is battling liver cancer, (she battled colon-rectal cancer three years ago) I have been staying at the hospital with her for the past three weeks, and working half days. I haven't been home to check my e-mail. I have always been the one to cook Thanksgiving Dinner for my whole family since my Mom died 24 years ago and I told them all I wasn't cooking this year. My Dad offered to take the whole family out to a restaurant, but I was stubborn and said No, they could all go but I wasn't going because I didn't want to do Thanksgiving because I didn't have anything to be Thankful for. I guess I planned to stay home and cry.

Anyway, I left the hospital today because I could not stop crying and it actually feels like my heart is breaking. She isn't eating and it is very hard to see her like this. I went to three Wal-Marts looking at Christmas Decorations and crying the whole time. I am making her an Angel Christmas tree.

I finally got home and got online because I was going to do some research about the latest from the doctors when I saw Kevin's story. I am going to do Thanksgiving Dinner for the whole family and this year, we are going to be blessed with the Williamson Family Recipe for the rolls. Thanks Kevin for sharing.


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