On penmanship and the author of time, by Hannah.
I have a reputation for messy handwriting, which has caused my friends as well as family to request deciphering of the cards or notes which I write – because when I write meaningful messages, I often forget to use clear, block-letter manuscript style, and instead use the flowing, incomprehensible cursive which I adopted and adapted over a number of years: a combination of 18th and 19th century lettering and my own invention. In some ways, my handwriting is a reflection of my personality. I am right-brained, artistic, slightly disorganized, and often in a (perhaps unnecessary) rush.. whether in writing lists or climbing stairs two at a time.
I remember my mom’s dismay when she tried to teach me how to write clearly in elementary school. Her handwriting is beautiful: perfect, symmetrical, comprehensible. Yet I also like my handwriting, including its indecipherable quality. It means that when I’m writing in public, fewer people can read over my shoulder.
“Can I see your pen?” A young woman in Bible study asked, after complimenting my handwriting. Five of us sat around a table in the food court of a mall. She asked whether she could test it, and tried writing on her paper cup. “What – when I write, it just look like normal. It’s a regular ballpoint pen, but when you write, it looks like charcoal.” She said. It was a rare case that someone appreciated my wild writing. She was referring to the notes I had taken on a sketch book in front of me with usual crazy penmanship. Her comments stuck with me.
How many times do we attribute the beauty of something to the wrong object or person? For example, the young woman complimenting my handwriting had, at first, attributed the appearance of my writing to the wrong object – the pen – and not to the one whose hand held it. She thought that the style came from the pen tip or that it was anything other than an ordinary pen. However, it is the loose way I write, and not anything special about the pen, which was responsible for the appearance of my notes. Even with special pens such as calligraphy tips, it may take skill, practice, or the right kind of paper to achieve the results we desire.
Don’t we do the same thing about a different kind of pen? We often hear the illustration that our life is a story penned by God. He is its writer – our author, visionary, and creator. Yet often, we attribute the beauty to the pen, and not to the hand that holds it. We think we can write a better or more beautiful story, and we try our best to take control of it. Yet, we are shocked when our attempts to write something beautiful turn out ugly, and nothing like what we envisioned.
This is because it is not the pen which wields the power, but the hand which holds it. In the same way, grasping for control of our lives will not create the beautiful vision we so greatly desire, but rather loosing our deathly grip and surrendering power to our life’s Creator will allow a beautiful story to be authored by one who greatly loves us. When we give up our control, the Holy Spirit is free to work in us to create beautiful things which we never dared to imagine could occur. It all starts with the simple act of surrender. Are we willing to let go?
Photo credit: This is a picture of Hannah’s real handwriting.
Have you ever attributed something in your life to the “pen”? How can you intentionally surrender your life to God’s authorship?
To find out more about Hannah, visit our writer’s page.