Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Pencil and the Author ~ Lydia from "He Holds the Key"

A pencil sits, still bearing the “new” smell. Untouched. Unblemished. Unused. It’s perfectly content to sit there quietly on the desk. No worries, sadness, or fear. But also, no adventure. A vague restlessness sets upon the pencil. It wants to do something with its life. As if in response, an author-THE Author-comes and sits down, and looks down at the pencil. He smiles. In fact, he made the pencil, and knows its desire. He also knows exactly what he wants to write.
The author picks up the pencil. Excitement beats in the pencil’s heart. But, unfortunately, in order to begin writing the story, the author must sharpen the pencil. As he picks up his knife, the pencil looks at him in horror. He slowly shaves off one piece of wood, then another, and another. It hurts. The pencil doesn’t understand what’s happening to it. Why would a creator ruin its creation? The author’s eyebrows wrinkle as he feels the fear, sadness, and hurt the pencil feels. But he knows what his creation does not. Finally, he stops. He pulls a piece of paper off of the shelf, paper of the highest quality. He grasps the pencil firmly in his strong, steady hand. What a special story this pencil is going to write, he thinks to himself.
The author begins to write in a purposeful but gentle manner. Words flow onto the page in a rhythm. The pencil has never been so happy. It now knows why the author had to sharpen it. It trusts the author. It rests in the author’s hand, and allows the author-the one who knows the story-to use it. After all, pencils can’t write stories on their own. Even if they could move by themselves, they don’t know the language of letters. Anything they write would be meaningless gibberish without the author. The author makes all the difference. He turns feeble efforts into a beautiful masterpiece.

Soon, the tip of the pencil breaks. The pencil’s heart sinks. The author picks up his knife again, and the pencil winces. It knows that last time, things worked out for the best. But this time… what if they don’t? The pencil tries to remember the beautiful words it was writing before it broke. But as the shavings fall, scraped off the tender pencil, it can’t help but wonder again-what is this author doing? How could anything hurt this bad, and still be good? But the author knows exactly what he is doing. He never slips, or makes a mistake, or accidentally goes too far. He knows that a dull pencil won’t work right.
Unsurprisingly, the pencil eventually realizes it is wrong, and quickly turns back. It trusts the author again. Gradually, it has faith in its creator more and more, and under trial, it can sometimes believe that it will come out on the other side in one piece.
But one day it happens. The pencil breaks in two. It’s heartbroken. How can it ever write beautifully again? Surely the author can’t redeem this? But the author faintly smiles at the pencil, and says “Trust me.” He picks up the broken pieces, and begins to sharpen one end. Even though the pencil has to suffer the consequences, it can still be used. “I told you so,” he says to the pencil.
Through its life, the pencil has to be sharpened constantly. Sometimes it even breaks. But its creator redeems it every time. “You are never too far gone for me to use you” it whispers to its creation. And when the pencil becomes so small that author can scarcely write the very last two words of the book , ‘The End’, the author gently lifts it and places it in his apron pocket, so that it will be close to him forever. Like a proud father, he says “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
“Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Yes, that’s the second time I said that. Just let it roll off your tongue a few times. Doesn’t that phrase amaze you? I mean, doesn’t it just blow your mind? Why would a God use such imperfect, self-destructing beings to accomplish His purposes? Aren’t you just honored that the One who created the universe, the One who has the entire DNA of your body memorized, the One who had to bail you out whenever you felt like you messed up your life-aren’t you just honored that He would desire you, unfathomably love you, want you to serve Him, and call you a ‘good and faithful servant’? Wow! What should our response to an offer of forgiveness and a lifetime of serving Him be? A resounding YES! But what do we usually do? Push God off to the side for Sundays or times whenever we really need His help? Reflect on what your response is to His calling, and ask God to change it if it’s not where it should be.
In sum, when we’re sharpened, we should lift up our hands and say “You know what? Even though I may hate this right now, I’m going to trust you, anyway, God. Have your will.” When we’re broken, we should not cower. Instead, we should stand before our Lord, filth and all, ask Him to cleanse us, and then righteously stand, confident of the bottomless grace that power washes our dirtiness away. When we’re writing, we should allow the author to conform us to His hand, lifting up a willing spirit. And when we die, we should breathe a sigh of relief and expectantly await the beginning of a new, glorious story.
So ladies, let Him use you. Let Him sharpen you, conform you to His son’s image. Let Him take you down scary paths that may not seem right. Let Him. Because He is the author, the ultimate storyteller, and He knows exactly what He’s doing.
This article was taken from He Holds the Key Blog, with permission from Lydia. Please, check out He Holds the Key Blog. We highly recommend this blog!
Did you know that Jess drinks 6 to 7 cups of tea a day?! And then 1 or 2 cups of coffee?!?!

Photograph property of Lilies Among Thorns Magazine. Photograph taken by Jess Mc.

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