Words of Worth

Joy is being Found a Pencil

March 10, 2012

Happiness is finding a pencil. Or so sings Charlie Brown after he realizes how human the little red-headed girl is:

“I’m so happy. That little red-headed girl dropped her pencil.It has teeth marks all over it. She nibbles her pencil. She’s human! It hasn’t been such a bad day after all.”

I’m partial to that part of the song because I am extremely partial to pencils. My most preferred writing tool is the mechanical pencil. One reason I prefer pencils is because they best showcase all the hours of Palmer Method penmanship I practiced in elementary school. Do you remember the Palmer Method of writing? It used to be the most popular handwriting technique before schools decided to do away with cursive. Children have a difficult time reading my writing unless I print. But the older generations, will often pay my “pencil written words” the most superior of compliments -“You write just like a nun!”

Even though at least nine considerations when choosing the right kind of pencil, it often plays second fiddle to the pen. Legal documents, checks, and all kinds of licenses must signed in ink. And you know you have matured as a child when the day comes that you trade in your pencils for pens. It is like a rite of passage declaring for all to see that you have become a capable expert who makes few, if any, mistakes while scribing letters into words and sentences. The underlying message is that grown-ups use pens not pencils.

That may be so, but God, who never makes any mistakes, often chooses to use pencils. At least that’s what Mother Teresa claimed. During an interview many years ago, Mother Teresa was asked if she felt she had any special qualities or if she felt it was an extraordinary thing to be a vehicle of God’s grace in the world. Her reply was that all the work she was doing was His work and that God wants to show His greatness by using nothingness. “I don’t think so. I don’t claim anything of the work. It is His work. I am like a little pencil in his hand. That is all. He does the thinking. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it. The pencil has only to be allowed to be used. In human terms, the success of our work should not have happened.”

I bet Mother Teresa excelled at Palmer Method and wrote just like a nun! Indeed, happiness is finding a pencil, but JOY is being found a pencil in the hand of God. (sv)

But now, O LORD, You are our Father,
We are the clay, and You our potter;
And all of us are the work of Your hand.
Isaiah 64:8

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