By the time we were in fourth grade, my classmates and I thought we’d really arrived on the academic scene. Best of all, we were allowed to use real fountain pens! At the start of the school, new copy books (Ok, we called them scribblers back then, but I liked the new name better!) awaited. All those clean, white pages, with faint blue lines to help us keep our writing on track, just begged for my neatest writing.
From first grade on, Daddy expected me to practice penmanship after school. After I printed neatly, lessons progressed to cursive writing. At first, I resisted, but soon I realized it was almost like drawing and that it was fun to make the words float across the lines.
So, I began the school year with grand visions of keeping my copybook neat. But mistakes had a nasty way of leaking onto my paper. Sometimes I missed a letter and had to rewrite the word. Ink can’t be erased! Like my fellow students, I experimented with laundry bleach instead of the “ink eradicator” that was available in the stores. (Already we’d learned mistakes were costly, but the homemade version of eradicator was cheaper than buying the official poduct.) The whole process was messy, and I couldn’t truly eradicate my mistakes.
Did I learn or inherit some of Daddy’s perfectionist tendencies?
A crossed-out word just didn’t belong in my “scribbler.”
I knew of only one solution: Recopy.
I tore out all the pages with writing, and painstakingly recopied my work, concentrating fiercely to make sure I’d write neatly and not make the same mistake again. So much writing used a lot of ink. Although my pen used little plastic cartridges, I’d learned to refill the malleable plastic tubes. I think I used some sort of a syringe. Spills were inevitable. More messes resulted. Sometimes I’d overfill the cartridge and incriminating dark blue splatters mocked my intentions. So, with wrong words and leaky pens conspiring against me, my intentions of keeping a scribbler neat meant mine truly was a copy book.
I simply could not keep up recopying all the pages every time I made a mistake, even though I tried so hard not to mar my book. I repeated the tear-and-rewrite process until I had to concede defeat.
Years have passed since that exercise in futility. I’ve learned nothing I can do will ever be perfect but I still like to practice my handwriting. Cradling a nicely weighted pen and feeling the pen point slide across a clean piece of paper gives me new pleasure each time I do it! And yes, I still enjoy using a fountain pen, but only for special writing projects. No matter how much I practice, though, none of my writings can compare to the one book that is kept perfectly. It’s the book of life, and my name is there, without mistakes or blots.
I “rejoice, that (my name is) written in heaven.” Luke 10:20c ASV. It cost my Saviour His blood to blot out my sins, and there my name is recorded as perfectly as only God can do it.
I look forward to seeing the beautiful way God records the names of all His children!