Here’s a secret I never expected to share, but the Chronicles require a “true confession” each day and I still have plenty of them left so here goes. I confess to being a penny scavenger. Not a collector mind you, a scavenger. The former sounds so much better and actually has an entirely different purpose in mind. But nonetheless, I pick pennies up off the ground whenever and wherever I encounter them.
It’s not exactly a get rich quick scheme but it is kind of fun. Maybe it started as a child with the saying, “see a penny, pick it up and all the day you’ll have good luck.” Then there’s the old adage, “a penny saved is a penny earned.” But I like best the “pennies from heaven” mentality, which makes me think of them a little bit like manna (manna was from heaven)
There is a poem which says in part, “Found pennies come from heaven . . . angels tossed them down . . . So don’t pass by that penny when you’re feeling blue. It may be a penny from heaven that an angel’s tossed to you.” (C. Mashburn)
So a couple of days ago, while on my bike, I look down and see a shiny penny laying in the street. Of course I stopped and picked it up. It was in perfect condition, so clean, so shiny. In fact, it was probably the sun’s rays glinting off the abandoned penny that drew my attention to it in the first place. It was hard to miss since it’s shiny, coppery finish stood out against the pavement of the street. I felt quite fortunate as I pocketed my penny and resumed my ride.
This morning on my walk I again picked up a penny. This one I almost missed. I walked over it then stopped, turned back and took a closer look. Sure enough, ground into the pavement and mostly matching it in color, was a penny. I guess it was the shape and size that gave it away, certainly not the color. But when I picked it up for a closer look, it was indeed a penny. More black than copper color, but still, a penny.
I pocketed my penny and walked on, pondering the lesson of my two pennies. (yes, this is a penny for my thoughts) One I couldn’t miss, the other I almost overlooked. (glad I stopped and took a second look) One was bright and shiny, the other darkened and dirty. But you know what? Both of them were worth one cent. They were of equal value.
Do I do that with people? Do I take notice of the bright and shiny, while overlooking those worn down and sullied by the circumstances of life? Do I consider some people of less value than others, depending on their appearance and circumstance? My two pennies looked very different, but they were equally valuable.
We all look different from each other and to each other. But not to God – not to our Heavenly Father. To Him we are each of equal and of infinite value. He created our diversity and He gave us our equality. We are each priceless to our Creator.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-31)
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
“He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)
“For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in My sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.” (Isaiah 43:3-4)
And God did give one man in exchange for me and for you, one man named Jesus. My Heavenly Father considered me that valuable! He considers you that valuable too, dear reader. We are all created in His image and He says to each one of us,
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1)
Even though some days I may feel (and look) like the dirty, ground into the ground penny that I found this morning, my value in my Heavenly Father’s eyes has not been diminished. I am as valuable to Him as is the bright, shiny unscathed penny because we are each invaluable to our Creator. That will never change.
That is the lesson of the “parable of the pennies.” I may be guilty of overlooking less shiny people but not the God who knows every hair on every head. He overlooks no one. Indeed, Job said of God when he was looking for God and couldn’t find Him,
“But He (God) knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10) God knows the way that each one of us takes.
Today I will take my rest, my comfort and my joy from these words in Zephaniah 3:17,
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
I do love a good lullaby,
sincerely, Grace Day