I love driving by churches and seeing what their signs say. You probably know the signs I mean: “Try God’s retirement plan. It’s out of this world.” And “Welcome to our ch__ch. What’s missing? UR!”
Several years ago, my husband and I visited Pensacola for a nephew’s graduation. As we sped down the road toward the ceremony, we passed a church. With no time to linger, I made a mental note to ask my husband to stop there on the way back by. The reason? A sign out front said, “Be the pen God writes with.”
For those of us who feel a holy calling to write, this is exactly what we strive to be. Not pencils with leads that become dull or break, or with erasers to wipe out the message. Not computer keyboards with multiple ways to undo our words. Not even voice systems that can transcribe our words in mistaken and confusing ways.
Pens are permanent. We sign important documents with pens. If we work a crossword puzzle with a pen, it suggests a certain confidence that we will make no mistakes.
I think that’s what I love about this church sign. It’s an encouragement to us to live—and to write—with confidence and courage. To take some care as we set down our words because they’re meant to be God’s message through us, and they’re meant to last.
God’s pen is even more permanent than ours. And if we allow ourselves to be God’s pen, if we are obedient to God’s call, just imagine the kingdom work we can accomplish on God’s behalf.
We all struggle as writers sometimes, whether with the discipline to spend time writing, writer’s block, or even doubts that we have correctly understood God’s call. I hope this sign from a roadside church in Florida will encourage you to write with confidence, to be the pen God writes with.