Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24

In Pencil

I reach for a pencil every time I write when I am not sitting at a keyboard.  I like the sound of the lead rubbing on the paper.  I like the extra work it takes to drag the lead to translate what my mind is thinking.  Oftentimes, my thoughts are several words ahead of my hand.  I am surprised there isn’t a little smoke trail at the base of my pencil as it works to keep up with my thoughts.

But then it happens.  I misspell a word, I forget some punctuation, or worse, I scribble and cannot decipher what I was writing.

The convenience of a pencil is the eraser.  I can easily flip the pencil over and engage in a little pressure over the lead that was incorrect and it disappears into eraser crumbs that are flicked out of the way by the side of my hand.  Just to be sure the crumbs are gone, I go all big-bad-wolf on it and give a blow.

I write in pencil, I erase and my mistake is gone.  The paper forgives and forgets and we move on.

I wish I could speak in pencil.  I admit I said very hurtful things to people near and dear to me.  Ugly vulgarities, lies, gossip and secrets passed through my lips and hung indelibly in the air.  No eraser can remove the stain and the pain of such words.  I’ve grappled for more words in an attempt to beg forgiveness only to be faced with the one I hurt gathering the crumbs of my attempted apology.  Cupped in their hand, they hold on tightly for the next time I speak indelibly.  The one I hurt goes all big-bad-wolf on me and blows the crumbs in my face.  It is hard for humans to totally forgive, forget, and move on.

I am thankful that the God who created me, understands me.  I may speak indelibly to Him, but he only sees me speaking in pencil.  He forgives me because Jesus steps in between us, and takes the place of the eraser.  Jesus wipes away the crumbs of my sin and goes all big-bad-wolf and gives them a good blow so that we never find them again.

Psalm 103:12

as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.





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2 thoughts on “In Pencil

  1. What a wonderful metaphor 🙂


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