While I was cleaning and rearranging my place this morning, I found a pen underneath the bed that had been left behind by a previous tenant. It was one of those expensive wooden pens that you twist to write with. I didn’t think much of it, but then I noticed the engraved message on it: SEEK MY FACE. I thought, “How unusual.” Then I saw that at the end opposite the tip, there was an engraved likeness of Jesus. Somehow the manufacturers had managed to render quite an image. It looked like I would expect Jesus to look. The face exuded strength and calm conviction.
I wondered how the pen could have ended up on the floor. It was almost surely an accident. Perhaps it rolled off a nightstand or something. But why wasn’t it missed? I was struck by the disconcerting incongruity of Jesus forgotten on the floor. Of course, not the Savior Himself, but it just didn’t seem right for the pen to be shunted out of the way like that. In the first place, it is an expensive pen, and second, it is special. I’ve never seen anything like it. I can only hope the pen wasn’t a gift from a doting mother or praying aunt, now gathering dust (and who knows what else) underneath a bed, left behind by someone who moved out a long time ago.
I wonder if I have ever discarded something similar. I have owned many Bibles, CDs, crosses and other decorative Christian articles. I haven’t always taken proper care of them. There was a time when I failed to appreciate the meaning of such things. If only the sight of items bearing Christian symbols would consistently remind us of what Jesus means to us and who He is. But that end is so often ruled out by the proliferation of Christian paraphernalia in our homes, offices, stores and everywhere, its very volume canceling out its meaning. In our affluent, industrial world, we have mass-produced Jesus too.
After I found the pen, I couldn’t help but see a sad symbolism in its being left behind on the floor. I thought about times in my life when God was calling to me but I wasn’t listening. I prayed that if I should somehow begin to marginalize Jesus in my life, He would let me know and help me to get Him back front and center.
Years ago, I was attending a mid-week service at my church, a small Assembly of God congregation called Calvary Temple. The worship had concluded, and the pastor opened the sanctuary for testimonies prior to the sermon. An attractive young woman stood up and described a dream she’d had a couple of nights before. In the dream, she was standing behind a kiosk tending to a line of people. At the front of the line was her fiancee, and behind him was her boss. The people seemed to be lined up in order of their significance in her life.
About fourth or fifth in line, the woman said, was Jesus. She began sobbing as she told us, “What got me? He was just standing there in line, waiting for me.”