A borrowed pen and the Kingdom of God

The other day I went to a coffee shop. This was not life altering in anyway, but this particular day was different. I ordered my tea, found a place perfectly placed by the fireplace and cozied in. I pulled out my book was ready to dig in, when I noticed I had no pen!  I dug through the oversized purse I carry, but nothing. Notta. No pen in sight.  (Or by feel, it is a large bag for goodness sake! No one can see everything in them)

I was unsettled. How was I to dig in a good book, when I had no pen with which to mark it up. I made my way up to the counter and boldly asked for a pen. I made it very clear that I would come back and return the pen. I was quite emphatic about it. I actually may have said something like, “I’m really good at returning things! I promise I won’t forget!!!” After reassuring the woman behind the counter that I would not keep her pen accidentally I took my seat.

I settled in and read my book, marking it up with the best of them. I then looked at my phone, saw the time and immediately packed everything up and headed to my car. I jetted out the door, sat in my car and immediately realized that I was holding on to the pen I had so emphatically promised to return. The following inner dialogue occurred:

“Ah, MAN! I have the stupid pen. Sigh. It’s raining I don’t want to go out side again. It’s cold and I’m already wet from running to my car. But I told her I’d return it. Ugh, it’s just a pen, she will not miss her pen. I don’t really need to go back.” Then I remembered my promise and immediately unbuckled my seat belt said to myself, “My yes will be yes!” I darted through the rain and simply handed the kind woman behind the counter the pen with a smile and a thank you.

As I walked back to my car I couldn’t believe I was about to drive away with her pen. It would have been so easy, and yet I didn’t need her pen, it belonged to her and if I had kept it I would actually both be stealing and going back on my word.

I was pleased I went back inside. I secretly hoped she saw me leave and thought about her pen my promise then saw me come back in to keep my word. I hope at the same time it went unnoticed.

Simple things count. In the Kingdom of God the simple things are some of the most profound. Our actions as those who walk in the way of Jesus may go unnoticed at times, but when the action is missing, it will most definitely be noticed. People remember when we don’t keep our word.  As people who follow Jesus and publicly say He is our role model, we have declared to the world that we’ll love well, care deeply, show up, be neighborly and so on. Our lives hold the promises made to a watching world. We must rely on Holy Spirit with in us to grow us so that we become people who keep our word and not forget to give back the pens borrow!


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