Jessie's Piece


The world’s a jigsaw, once I thought,
With each of us a piece to fit,
A predetermined Grand Design
And each of us a part of it.

I thought that God must surely have
A blueprint of His final goal,
And all who come into this life
Are meant to play some fated role.

But when my little Jessie died,
It seemed to me but sheer caprice.
Where fits a child in God’s design
Who never lived to add her piece?

How often did I walk alone
To still the anguish in my heart,
To ask why God would make a plan
In which my child had no part.

One day, upon a village square,
I happened by a tiny shop.
What random step had led me there?
What in the window made me stop?

It was a quilt, a crazy quilt,
Each piece a brightly-colored patch,
A joyful, glowing work of art
From scraps you’d think would never match.

I looked upon the quilt in awe
To think a thing so oddly fine
Was stitched from fragments never made
To fit to anyone’s design.

I wondered then if God might wish
That in this way His world be built,
Each life a motley-colored scrap,
And He the weaver of the quilt.

If such be true, I realize,
My child’s life, though short it be,
Is yet a joyful, shining patch
In God’s eternal tapestry.

I looked upon the quilt and saw
A patch that seemed but sheer caprice,
So whimsical it made me smile.
I knew it was my Jessie's piece.

--  Robert Brault