There was a man who had a favourite pen. It was not an expensive pen, but it wrote nicely and he had bought some refills for it so he could continue to use it for a long time as well
as being more environmentally friendly.
One day, when he was looking to write something with his pen, he could not find it. It was not in the pen pot on his desk. It was not obviously in view on his desk. He started to look under different piles of paper on his desk. It was not there. He looked on the floor under his desk. It was not there. He decided that one of his family had ‘borrowed’ it, so he accused them of nabbing it.
They all denied that they had nabbed the pen, and were a bit hurt by the accusation because they knew that he was very protective of the pens in his study.
The man continued to search for the pen in all of the usual places that the pen often turned up in. He checked his briefcase and other bags. No pen.
He checked a folder he used to put sermon notes in. No pen.
He started checking some less usual places. Still no pen.
The man was frustrated that he had lost the pen. He still had a couple of refills left for it, and he really needed to use the pen.
So he went out in his car to the stationery store and looked for a similar pen. There were none on the shelves. So the man bought some other pens and soon forgot all about the old pen.
The man reflected on how churches sometimes treated people like that. People can drift away and while we make efforts to talk with them and encourage them to come back, some don’t. After a while other things replace them and we forget about those people, who feel hurt and upset. The man wished it was not like that and resolved to try to do better in his church.
The story has not ended, however. Because this morning the man picked up a folder he had not used for a month. When he opened it the lost pen fell out. How the man rejoiced! He went out into the streets and danced around, shouting that he had found his lost pen. (Actually that last sentence is fiction). The man was pleased that he had found his lost pen, however, and resolved to look more carefully next time it went missing.
And the man reflected that Jesus had said how much rejoicing there is in heaven over one ‘sinner’ who repents. He reflected that God never gives up on us, even when we give up on ourselves. He remembered that he himself was a frequent cause of rejoicing in heaven. He asked for God’s help to show his love and grace more effectively and ‘normally’.
Be blessed, be a blessing.