Pencils in the Pew - Encouragement for Today - October 27, 2014

Wendy Pope

OCTOBER 27, 2014

Pencils in the Pew

"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." Colossians 3:17 (NAS)

His name is Mr. P ...

Before I introduce him, let me tell you about him.

Every Sunday was the same. My husband and I ushered our children to their respective classes then went to our class. After Sunday School we gathered the children and headed to the main sanctuary for the worship service.

We would take our seats in the same pew in the balcony. And each week they would be there, sharpened, with a perfect point ready to use. The yellow pencils.

I never thought much about the perfectly sharpened yellow pencils until I happened to be at the church office on a Tuesday morning. A dapper older gentleman brushed by with a box of pencils in one hand and a sharpener in the other. My mind flashed back to the pencils in the pews and with a bent brow I asked someone, "Is he the one who sharpens the pew pencils each week?" It was confirmed.

Each week, this man quietly breezed in and out with few taking notice. And the beauty in it all? He didn't want anyone to notice. He didn't want recognition, a pat on the back or even a thank-you. Sharpening the pencils each week was his way of serving the Lord.

In doing so, he also served the members of our congregation. Week after week, he faithfully sharpened all the pencils in the name of the Lord, living out today's key verse:"Whatever you do in word and deed, do for all in the name of the Lord, giving thanks through Him to God the Father" (Colossians 3:17).

The beginning of this verse sounds really good until nobody notices your word and deed. Serving without being recognized isn't easy. But when we make choices to serve in secret, we find God gives us the greatest fulfillment.

The woman who serves unnoticed and un-thanked is a woman who loves God more than she desires the praise of others. She is confident that all her unnoticed deeds on earth are noticed in Heaven. She is satisfied knowing she has pleased her Lord.

Does anyone see you fold the church bulletins? Does it seem your laundry service goes unnoticed day after day? Is it overlooked each time you replace the flowers in the church sanctuary or take out the trash at work?

Oh dear one, don't grow weary in doing good! Whether it's sharpening pencils or taking a recording of Sunday's sermon to an elderly shut-in, you can be confident that your Heavenly Father notices everything you do for the glory of His name.

Oh, and Mr. P? His name is the Pencil Sharpener.

Dear Lord, I am so grateful for all those who "sharpen pencils." Lord, bless those who take care of the details I so often take for granted and overlook. Show me ways to serve for the glory of Your name and help me be a woman who loves You more than the desire to hear the praise of others. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Galatians 6:9, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (NIV)

2 Thessalonians 3:13, "And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good." (NIV)

Trusting God for a Better Tomorrow: A Study of Psalms by Wendy Pope is now available in softcover as well as an e-book.

Click here to find out more about considering Wendy as your next retreat / keynote speaker. You can also visit Wendy's blog to join the conversation about serving in silence.

Would you like to experience this kind of selfless service? Contact your church, a ministry or public service agency to learn of simple ways you can serve. Pray before making the commitment to ensure it is your Best Yes.

Has your life been positively affected by someone quietly serving the Lord? If so, how can you express your gratitude to them?

© 2014 by Wendy Pope. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105

Originally published Monday, 27 October 2014.