A couple of years ago a friend gave my husband and me really nice Mont Blanc pens. Bill’s is a ball point pen; mine is a cartridge fountain pen. I enjoy using it and generally keep it clipped inside my journal. Several days ago, I apparently left it lying on the table beside my chair, next to the journal and one or both of our kittens, now dubbed Dora and Diego, got it and managed to loosen the cap from the pen. Thankfully, there was no damage to the pen and no ink leaked out, but the cap was lost. I searched and searched all over the den, fussing and fuming all the while, angry at the kittens . Bill just looked at me disgustedly as I stomped around looking for the cap. What idiocy, being angry at kittens for doing what kittens do, seemed to be his response. Finally, I gave up, accepting that they could have very easily toted it off, out through the pet door and into the yard where I’d never find it. I emailed Mont Blanc to see if a replacement cap could be purchased.
Two nights later I had a dream in which I was teaching from a book on holiness by Nancy Leigh Demoss. I was striving very hard to get the point across to a group of new Christians that holiness is not an abstract and ancient notion, but something that we as Christians really are expected to embrace and strive to achieve. It was at that point that I awoke. Arising from the bed, as I walked to the dressing area and began getting dressed, I was thinking about the dream and remembered my tirade against the kittens. I hung my head in shame and thought to myself, “who am I to teach anyone about holiness? ” I was repentant that, once again, an angry spirit that I have struggled with so often in my life had erupted. I had momentary flashback recollections of other similar outbursts of temper in the past. It led me immediately to asking the Lord to forgive me, again, especially in light of the fact that I am in a position of responsibility for teaching by instruction and example.
It was at that point that I turned from the bathroom mirror and opened a closet in my dressing area. There, on the floor at my feet was the cap of the pen. The kittens had apparently managed to carry it or bat it from the den, on the far end of the house to this opposite end and had lost it under the closet door where I found it at the very moment I was having a conversation with the Lord, sorrowful over letting my temper get the best of me because of that very pen cap. God’s timing is impeccable.
I know that, as one who has accepted the calling to teach in the church, I am held to a standard more exacting than others. God is faithful to remind me of that regularly, something that is, unfortunately, necessary because I regularly am found wanting. I cannot teach what I do not have. I guess I better go back and reread Nancy Leigh Demoss’ book and spend some time reflecting on the scriptures on holiness.