I remember when I was small, how the excitement had run through the classroom when the day came that we were going to learn handwriting! Up till now, everything we had done had been done in printing, so this meant going to a whole new level. Anticipation ran high, as the sister handed out the blank sheets of lined paper, and pencil, new and sharp for this new skill. Then on the blackboard she wrote with a flourish.... a single slanted oval "o".
We looked at her in confusion - this wasn't writing at all, it wasn't even a word...and we asked 'what's this for' and she just smiled and said, fill your papers up with this same 'o'. When we tried, we discovered, it wasn't as easy as it seemed, to get that slant just right, to have the shape make an oval, and just touch the lines on the paper as we'd been told. For weeks this went on, just making those 'os', over and over again, and gradually, so slowly, those ovals we were making, became sure and confident strokes, our hands remembered the shape
God was like that teacher when He took my life in hand, for I had so much to learn. All my life had been lived in printing, it was now the time, He said, to move up a step, learn to write. It meant I had to change, and changing was so hard, but He was there with me every step...He made my life brand new, like a blank sheet of paper.... but He'd put the lines there to guide me as I learned...I had to learn the shape of His love, and accept it into my life, to make prayer the pencil in my hand.... and with His patience and encouragement, I began to make new 'os' on the paper that was my life.
He taught me the strokes of trust, and hope and love, and helped me practice using them each day - oh at first the lines were so shaky, so tentative and unsure, but He knew if I'd just practice, they'd soon be a part of me, and I'd remember their shape.
Finally the day came in class, more new paper, new sharpened pencils, and excitement crackled in the air.... for up on the board, was not that familiar 'o' but an entire sentence, beautifully written...the goal had been reached at long last! The sister carefully explained how each letter that we write, was based on that familiar 'o' - so since we knew that, the others would follow too, and we'd be able to make the words by just connecting all those 'o's, and suddenly it all became clear.
We took pencils in hand, and carefully started to write, and we were astonished and delighted to find that all that mindless practice, that boring repetition had been just a preview, the basic stuff...and now it had transformed to a skill our hands already knew.... and the words flowed out on the paper...looking very like the ones on the board.
God kept teaching me His truths, helped me practice them each day, and though I didn't know it at the time...all this practice I was doing, all the re-shaping of my life, was just a preview of life with you! For when He knew I was ready, had learned the lessons well enough, could trust again, and ready to accept love.... and even more important than that were the reverse of those lessons taught, I could be trusted, and I could give love.
Then into my life He brought you, and I knew, that I'd made a huge step in my life...for here was the man whom I could trust, the one who would capture my heart...and the joy was overwhelming and true.
Suddenly I saw what God had meant when He had me practice things so small.... making His basic truths a part of me.... I’d be ready to stop printing with my life, and start to write...together we would write words of love...and every day we do that, we make a journal of the journey we've embarked on, just we two...but now there is one paper, one pencil with which to write...and the word we write is love.
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