The Pen

penWhile I was cleaning and rearranging my place this morning, I found a pen underneath the bed that had been left behind by a previous tenant. It was one of those expensive wooden pens that you twist to write with. I didn’t think much of it, but then I noticed the engraved message on it: SEEK MY FACE. I thought, “How unusual.” Then I saw that at the end opposite the tip, there was an engraved likeness of Jesus. Somehow the manufacturers had managed to render quite an image. It looked like I would expect Jesus to look. The face exuded strength and calm conviction.

jesus_158I wondered how the pen could have ended up on the floor. It was almost surely an accident. Perhaps it rolled off a nightstand or something. But why wasn’t it missed? I was struck by the disconcerting incongruity of Jesus forgotten on the floor. Of course, not the Savior Himself, but it just didn’t seem right for the pen to be shunted out of the way like that. In the first place, it is an expensive pen, and second, it is special. I’ve never seen anything like it. I can only hope the pen wasn’t a gift from a doting mother or praying aunt, now gathering dust (and who knows what else) underneath a bed, left behind by someone who moved out a long time ago.

I wonder if I have ever discarded something similar. I have owned many Bibles, CDs, crosses and other decorative Christian articles. I haven’t always taken proper care of them. There was a time when I failed to appreciate the meaning of such things. If only the sight of items bearing Christian symbols would consistently remind us of what Jesus means to us and who He is. But that end is so often ruled out by the proliferation of Christian paraphernalia in our homes, offices, stores and everywhere, its very volume canceling out its meaning. In our affluent, industrial world, we have mass-produced Jesus too.

After I found the pen, I couldn’t help but see a sad symbolism in its being left behind on the floor. I thought about times in my life when God was calling to me but I wasn’t listening. I prayed that if I should somehow begin to marginalize Jesus in my life, He would let me know and help me to get Him back front and center.

Years ago, I was attending a mid-week service at my church, a small Assembly of God congregation called Calvary Temple. The worship had concluded, and the pastor opened the sanctuary for testimonies prior to the sermon. An attractive young woman stood up and described a dream she’d had a couple of nights before. In the dream, she was standing behind a kiosk tending to a line of people. At the front of the line was her fiancee, and behind him was her boss. The people seemed to be lined up in order of their significance in her life.

About fourth or fifth in line, the woman said, was Jesus. She began sobbing as she told us, “What got me? He was just standing there in line, waiting for me.”

About Douglas Abbott

I am a freelance writer by trade, philosopher and comedian by accident of birth. I am an assiduous observer of humanity and endlessly fascinated with people, the common elements that make us human, what motivates people and the fingerprint of God in all of us. I enjoy exploring the universe in my search for meaning, beauty and friendship. My writing is an extension of all these things and something I did for fun long before I ever got paid. My hope is that the reader will find in this portfolio a pleasing and inspiring literary hodgepodge. Good reading!
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4 Responses to The Pen

  1. Robin says:

    Good Sunday morning to you, Doug.

    I really enjoyed this one. You’re like me in that I, too, would have thought about the pen’s history. Perhaps it was the last item to go into a box, rolling out unnoticed in the moving rush. Maybe it was a gift, as you suggested, given on the occasion of baptism.

    Did you happen to read the story the other day about the new homeowner who found a very large sum of money in his attic? As the previous owner had died, the finder of the treasure contacted the deceased man’s adult children, giving every dollar back to them. Since your pen’s owner can’t be located quite this easily, it’s yours! So is what makes for a pretty good story. (Have you taken a Lysol wipe to the pen?)

    You make a valid point, albeit a sad one, that Jesus may have become overexposed in our more-is-better society. I’d never considered this. Once upon a time, one had only a bible in the home as evidence of their faith. A woman might have a crucifix or cross fashioned into a necklace. I guess we’d all do well to return to these basics.

    Back to your pen – perhaps its owner did not recognize its true value the way you do; their trash, your treasure. Maybe it should be put on display in your room to serve as a reminder of the message you’ve so beautifully expressed here. Add a placard with one of the many scripture verses referencing the seeking of God’s face. I like this one: Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. Psalm 105:4

  2. Don says:

    Wow! I see an entirely different purpose for the discarded pen being found by you Doug. First of all, you are a writer, and I could read into the finding of this pen a divine hand. I would think it is has prophetic symbolism – an encouragment to seek his face and then to write about what you discover. The pen was quality, like He is and like your writings will be. You find value in the pen where others may not – you will make better use of it than its former owner. Therefore God has granted it to you and called you to be a messenger for Him. I can see all kinds of messages like that. However, your message was a good one too. David in Psalm 45 said my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. God has given you a pen, a voice. You are the ready writer. Check out another blogger if you dare. 🙂

    • Don says:

      Do you read and respond to the comments/replies? Do you have time?

      • Douglas Abbott says:

        Oh yes, I read every one of them. I always thought that my replies would get logged on the blog along with everything else, and wasn’t sure about that. Yes, know that I so appreciate every comment you make, and appreciate your making them on the blog. If this thing is to have any kind of place in other people’s lives, the participation is important. So I’m going to let everyone know that I am reading all the comments. They are definitely helping me to keep writing this!

        God bless you, Don.

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