How My Spiritual Life is Like a Fountain Pen

I am a connoisseur of fine writing instruments.

I collect quills, nibs, inks… My hobby in middle school and high school was dissassembling the various pens my dad would bring home from conferences and study the mechanisms.

What made this one write so smoothly? What made this one so satisfying to hold? What made this one’s clicker stick? Twisty bottom or clicky top- is one superior? (Clicky top, in case you were wondering)

So I have a set of pens my mother in law gave me for Christmas years ago. Admittedly, a couple have been lost, presumably at the bottoms of purses whose depths I haven’t plumbed in ages since I began carrying diaper bags.

Anyway, because I was feeling like making today special, I broke out my fountain pen for sermon notes. It isn’t a traditional fountain pen, in that it is loaded with ink via dipping it in ink, pulling a lever and twisting the barrel. Instead, this one has neat little cartridges in 3 different colors. So I loaded a fresh cartridge of black ink and waited for my pen to do its thing. Except, there seemed to be an airflow issue preventing the ink from properly flowing through the channels and into the nib. While I haven’t had time to troubleshoot the exact problem, I couldn’t help identifying with my fountain pen today.

By all appearances, it was a handsome pen on the outside. It was loaded correctly with a full supply of ink, and it was properly assembled. But still the ink wasn’t flowing- the writing on the page was thin, spidery and inconsistent, or blotted and smeared. No air flow. My assumption is that the channels or nib are blocked with dried up ink. The gunk (technical term 😉) inside the pen is likely gumming up the works and keeping it from writing as it should. Without the air flow into the pen, the ink is not being forced out.

In the same way, I know I have salvation in Christ, but the distraction of my children, meeting their needs, the distraction of my good intentions of maintaining marriage, home, homeschool, projects etc. sometimes blocks the channels of my soul. The Holy Spirit can’t flow out of me because I’ve got all this stuff gumming up my mind, drawing my attention away from Christ, and preventing me from focusing on my one purpose in being a Christ-follower: Giving Him glory.

It really leaves me feeling congested and spiritually distanced from God. It’s not a good feeling. Like a pen that won’t write, I need my heart and mind to be taken apart, examined and cleaned out, so that I can function in Christ as He designed me to. I need that precious and all too rare time in His Word, in Prayer, and in meditation on the Truth of Scripture.

Funny Providential how the sermon today was on the Holy Spirit’s work in believers… Even moreso was the way God used a malfunctioning fountain pen to minister to my heart and remind me that He is my Breath of Life- ruach ha-kodesh; Pneuma. And I have to allow Him in to do His work in and through my life.

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