Discoveries determine ‘missing piece’ often wasn’t lost
That great weaver of the fabric of which we are all threads has been busy of late — pulling at strings, tugging at threads, sorting through areas that need patching, mending this and that. It happens this time of year.
On the third night of Hanukkah, we watched as the candles were lighted and the blessings intoned. On that same night, in that same place, folk songs, Christian hymns and secular music wafted through the air and above the heads of the people who filled the auditorium, where there was not an empty seat but perhaps an empty heart or two.
In that room, in sanctuaries and synagogues all over the world, this holy season is being celebrated by those seeking and by those who have not yet found what it is they need.
And what is it that people seek, that people seem to need?
I have a book in my library by Shel Silverstein titled, “The Missing Piece.” It begins thus: “It was missing a piece, and it was not happy. So it set off in search of its missing piece.”
The little piece rolls and sings in sun, rain and snow, seeking that which was missing.
On the way, he stops to talk with a worm, smell a flower, meet a bug and try various pieces that do not fit. He continues to seek.
One day, he finds a piece that seems to fit perfectly. That piece he has found, however, does not want to be his missing piece and so rejects his offer. The piece rolls on in search of the missing piece — this one too large, that one too small, that one too irregular in shape. One day he finds the perfect fit; he became a perfect circle.
However the fit is too perfect and he now rolled too fast; he no longer has time to smell the flowers, feel the rain, experience the snow and talk to the bugs. And sing, he couldn’t sing, as the missing piece was placed where his mouth had been.
So he spit out the missing piece and went on his way looking for his missing piece, singing as he went.
It is what we do, isn’t it? Seeking, singing while we look. For we were never really lost, and in our imperfection, we were created perfectly; threads woven just so, colors blended as they were meant to be — bright, diverse and lovely.
I had a niece who, when she was 4, used to take walks with me in the evenings. One evening, she was particularly chatty. I stopped to ask her what made her talk so much.
She squeezed my hand and looked up laughing and said that God made her do it. She skipped on ahead and left me to search for that missing piece that was never lost.
Alleluia. Shalom Aleichem.