Smooth, solid, timeless and completely unique is the pen that my brother’s partner handcrafted for me. He actually starts with a block of wood and forms what you see above from it with labor, vision and talent. He and my brother were in town visiting our family a few weeks ago and much to my surprise he gave me this precious gift. He created it from the wood of an olive tree grown in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, in the Holy Land now known as Israel. When he gave me the gift I was in awe. To think that what I held in my hands came from the soil that Jesus Christ walked upon is almost too much for me.
I often ask my children questions, when we all eat together, that they really have to ponder. One of the questions I ask is “If you could go anywhere in the world, anywhere, where would it be?” I offer answers, “The moon, Holiday World, to see the ocean (1 has never seen it, another does not remember it), Hawaii to see the waterfalls or to Jerusalem to walk where Christ walked? Every year the answers change and vary with the age and interest of the child. Mostly they say they really want to see the ocean or go back to Holiday World. I always tell them my answer would be Jerusalem. Then we talk about Jesus and the places I would want to see. Not knowing whether it will ever be a reality, due to the safety of the trip, having something that has grown in that soil is sacred to me.
Do you have something from your past that holds a priceless value that connects you to something spiritual? Did you receive a rosary for your First Communion from your Great Grandma who has now passed on? Do you have a tattered Bible given to you by someone who meant the world to you? Do you have a picture or print of nature that touches your soul and makes you feel the presence of God? A keepsake that is able to transcend time and place and connect you with your spirituality is precious.
I always tell my children you should not love things, for they are of this world. You should love people. You should respect and take care of things but they are just things. Things that help you to reach into yourself in a place that is sacred should be respected and utilized for their purpose but not adored.As such I treasure the love and countless hours that went into forming and designing this pen into what it is today.
I am very grateful to Matthew for thinking of me in such a considerate way. He said that he had the idea when I was going through my lector training. He also handcrafted 3 other pens from the same wood for me. He said that it was up to me to decide who to give them to throughout my life time. Someone who touches my life beyond compare, who will appreciate and connect to this precious wood, will receive it someday.
My priest told me in his studies it has not been proven what type of wood that Christ was crucified upon. Although in my research it seems most likely that it was wood from an olive tree. The thought that I hold in my hands a piece of the wood that God sacrificed His Son upon for our sins is overwhelming to me. What I have written in all my writings I feel God has inspired me to write. Now I hold a memento of the sacrifice and pray to God that I do His will daily that I may sacrifice so that others may be open to live in the love of God. I will treasure this pen for the love that comes from it, for the history that is held in the grain of its wood and for the inspiration it brings me to give what God bestows upon me; to move others one thought, one reflection, one person closer to God with each word that it may write.
For this I thank you Matthew.