Clergy Faith and Wellness: The Missing Piece

Rev. Shelly Petz


It was January 7. I only remember the date because it was the day after Epiphany when I had an epiphany moment. I was out walking around my neighborhood, basically to try and shake out some unsettled things within me.

I had been stewing over my health, work stuff, family, life. I knew that often a walk really helps clear my head and gets me in a better space. It was a beautiful 60 degree day, so I headed outside.

After awhile of walking and spewing out all the things that were taking my mental energy, my epiphany moment came. I heard a voice tell me as clear as day, “The only thing you have to do today is love God and love your neighbor as yourself.”

I said, I think out loud, “That’s it? That is incrediblly hard, but also an incredible relief. My whole day would look so much different if that was what I had to do.”

Then literally my next step, I stopped in my tracks because there was a puzzle piece laying  on the road right in front of me. “Ok, I get it God. Knowing that loving You and loving my neighbor today is my only job is a missing puzzle piece.” 

I soon realized I was given this encounter as a gift. I didn’t know which neighbor had lost a puzzle piece. I don’t know if they knew that they lost it, or if they never had it, or even if they think they need it. At the same time, I was given a glimpse of a missing puzzle piece. Maybe, just maybe, what I was given as a gift was just what someone else was looking for or needed. What if I was the one who needed to share that the only job anyone had to do today was to love God and love their neighbor. 

Since I didn’t know which neighbor the puzzle piece belonged to, I began acting as if it belonged to and needed to be offered to each neighbor I met. I may never know how loving God and loving my neighbor changed them, but I know it changes me everyday. 

Just in case you were looking for a missing piece today, may I offer to you one I needed to find that you are welcome to try...

As we live into these days after all that Holy Week held, and the celebration of the risen Christ on Easter morning, maybe the only thing you have to do today is love God and love your neighbor as yourself.

Rev. Shelly Petz

Clergy Faith and Wellness