Life + Faith

The Almighty Pen

Last week I raced home from work (and by ‘raced’ I really mean *sat in traffic for 45 minutes when I only live 4 miles away*) because I forgot my Bible Study workbook at home and needed to get back across town to my church — in the complete opposite direction, in 30 minutes. Needless to say, I was in a hurry.

I pulled into my *TENANTS ONLY – ASSIGNED PARKING* parking lot to find an unfamiliar red Jetta in my spot. MY ASSIGNED SPOT. There are signs! It’s happened before, and I usually just grumble about it to myself, park on the street and then keep checking to see if the evil-rule-breaker has vacated the premises so I can take back my glorious parking space.


I scrambled to find a scrap of paper to scribble my words of derision; finally tearing off a blank corner of an invoice from a recent trip to the mechanic. I grabbed a pen from my purse and began to write in all caps: TENAN..T PA..R.. my pen kept running out of ink. I scribbled in circles on another sheet until it worked again: KIN… no ink again. More scribbled circles, no ink. NO INK! I searched for another pen…nothing. One last attempt at scribbling out some ink, and then I threw the pen on the passenger seat in contempt for it’s inability to do it’s job.

not working pen

For a moment I considered just blocking the jerk in, but took a deep breath and remembered that I was in a hurry and I wouldn’t be back until 9pm, and I’m sure he’d be long gone by then — so I parked in someone else’s empty spot and ran into my apartment to change and grab my book.

On my short walk to my apartment I debated with myself about the merits of writing another note:

It’s probably a good thing the pen stopped working.

But I really want to write a note!

Take a deep breath and just forget about it. You’ll be leaving again in five minutes.

But he must be scolded!

Don’t be that person.

I’m going to write another note. I have plenty of pens in my apartment.

I changed quickly then grabbed a pen and a flowery notepad (because I’m a lady) and rewrote my parking violation notice in green pen because I secretly hoped it would run down his window in the rain. Yep.

parking gram

I told myself this was dumb, and the car was probably already gone by now, and maybe it was just someone quickly picking up a friend or visiting their grandmother…but if the car was still there I was going to leave my note of shame because REASONS.

Note in hand, I marched back out to the parking lot, full of anticipation, plotting the most strategic place to put it: tuck it into the rubber lining around the drivers window? Held in place by the windshield wiper, facing in? Held in place by the windshield wiper, facing out? What if the car has an alarm on it? WHAT IF SOMEONE SEES ME?

I rounded the corner to find the car running, lights on, with a man sitting inside talking on his cell phone.


I crumpled the note in my hand, but attempted to give him the glariest of glares as I made my way to my car. If only telepathy were real; boy would he be getting an earful right now!

I laughed at myself as I closed my car door and shoved the note in my purse. I side-eyed him again one last time for good measure, but since I don’t think he had eyes in the back of his head, I don’t think he saw me. I didn’t really want to leave the note anyway…but I kind of did…but I’m glad I didn’t.

Then for some reason I thought I’d give the first pen another shot because “wouldn’t it be funny if it worked now?“.

I picked it up and scribbled out a few words…and out came fluid lines of ink like it was brand new. The pen knew how to do it’s job after all.

I laughed, then smiled at Jetta-Guy as I pulled out of my neighbor’s spot.

Well played, God. Well played.

Moral of the story? I don’t really know, but here’s a few things I’ve come up with:

If something doesn’t work when you think it should, maybe it’s just not supposed to happen right then.

If a pen doesn’t work while you’re trying to write a mean note, maybe don’t write the mean note.

Listen to the still, small voice inside you that tells you when something is out of whack.

Forgive and let go.

*Don’t write mean notes to people parked in your spot, while you’re parked in your neighbor’s spot.*

Have you ever been stopped from doing something you really wanted to do, and it turned out to be all for the best?

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  • Reply Rebekah November 8, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    Um have I ever been stopped from doing something dumb?!? Like yeah, all the time. Any for anyone who thinks that God is all seriousness, it’s posts like yours that prove He has a major sense of humor lol

  • Reply Kate November 10, 2014 at 5:03 am

    Oh my goodness, did I love this story. I’ve had those moments too where I just “I’ll show them!” and then…something stops me and boy am I thankful! Love that the pen started working after that too. So perfect.

  • Reply Patty November 14, 2014 at 9:43 am

    You are way too nice! I would have said something about him being in my parking in my spot. Actually I would have had the car in my spot towed. We have the same rules in our garage and we are encouraged by management that if someone parks in our spot, call the tow number on the sign.

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