How God Sometimes Gets My Attention

It’s funny to me how God consistently uses similar interventions to get my attention. This is only the most recent example:

Things have not gone as planned (again). Focus is difficult to come by, and I have lost my favorite writing instrument. It’s a fountain pen, and I have a thing for fountain pens.

This pen becomes a symbolic token very quickly. Very much like the large leaf that protects Jonah in the fourth chapter of the book bearing his name. He has no right to get upset at the loss of the leaf anymore than he has a right to take credit for being given that same leaf as a gift from God in the first place.

In any event, this is my favorite writing instrument. And today, I’m wanting to write letters to some of my favorite referral sources. And I just want to use my favorite pen. Period.

I’m distracted for a moment and then, as I turn back to my work, my pen is missing. I have a cap, but no pen. I look around and I can’t find it anywhere. At that moment inside, I pitch a small temper tantrum, at the end of which I come to my senses about how juvenile I must sound to God. So I pray a prayer of surrender, standing with my arms stretched to the ceiling as I let go of myself and embrace what feels like giving up… but I know is really giving in to God.

And just like that it’s over. Feels like nothing has really changed, except for an odd inner peace that I didn’t have before. But nothing, so it seems, has changed in my circumstances. Only me.

So I go back to my letter writing. And as I shift the pages slightly in my stack of letters, what do I find? Of course, my pen. It was there all along. Hidden from view… intentionally… hidden by God.

But one more curious thing happens. As I turn towards my bookshelf, I see a statue that has been there for years. A reminder of the same metaphor that plays out in my life over and over again.

Peek-a-Boo Statue

Technically, the statue is titled, “Peek-a-Boo,” but what I’ve always seen in it is different. I see my face, with my eyes being covered by God’s own hands. My hand is attempting to remove His hand from my eyes. But I can’t. His grasp is too firm, His hand stronger than mine. What He doesn’t want me to see, I can’t see, and I can’t change that no matter how hard I try to pry His fingers from my eyes.

That is, until He’s ready for me to see.

Just like my pen.