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5.04.2011

THE PENNY ALTAR

Tonight while out walking I spotted a brand new shiny penny on the road.  It's actually the 3rd shiny new penny I have found this week - two earlier pennies on two separate runs.  I stop every time and pick them up.  Every time.  Today as I picked up the penny I noticed a young family with a stroller and a toddler out walking headed my direction.  I held the penny in my hand, bending down to reach the toddler's height, and offered my penny treasure to the only other person who might value such a priceless treasure as much as me.  He beamed from ear to ear and looked at his mom as if to ask, "Can I?  Can I?"  Quietly I heard a faint "thank you" as he lifted the penny from my open palm.  I could see his excitement over a simple, tiny, almost worth nothing penny.  It started years ago, my attention to pennies, nickles, dimes, quarters that I found while out walking, running and sometimes even biking.  As my critically ill years began to fade and health slowly was returning to my body, I began the slow and painful process of first only being able to walk a couple of blocks.  I was struggling physically to regain stamina, flexibility, movement and live with some measure of daily pain.  More than that though, I was struggling with the fact that for the previous few years I had been unable to work - to contribute financially to the household, to use my abilities, to find worth.  I hated that I was out of the races so to speak.  As I crawled up the health ladder with a great desire to re-enter the workforce and life in general, I would pray constantly that I would someday run again, and someday be able to work again.  There it was as I slowly and painfully walked my first 3 blocks - a penny laying in the road.  I stopped and with effort and arguments from legs that did not work properly, bent down and picked it up.  A penny.  I smiled to myself as I walked back home thinking that even though I didn't have a job that earned money I had made 1 cent for doing nothing.  Don't laugh, but I thanked God.  It happened again and again and again in that year of regaining strength leading up to me being able to work again.  I would find money almost every time I walked.  Sometimes it was a couple of pennies.  Sometimes it was a nickle and a penny.  Other times I would find four or five pennies and a quarter.  I began to see God in the money I found.  Every time I found it I heard God reminding me that I was worth something, He would take care of me physically and financially, and I was earning something.  My family giggled at my declaration of what I had earned daily - 5 cents, 38 cents, 72 cents, a penny.  God spoke through the pennies I collected from the road.  Like those who walked with God in the Old Testament and made altars from rocks to signify hearing from God-to mark a covenant, I made an altar to God - a penny altar for His encouragement, presence and reminder of value and worth.  Every time I find a coin I see God in it and remember His provision in my time of need.  Today I thanked Him again as I picked up the penny and placed it in that little boy's hand. 

2 comments:

  1. And you wonder where the saying, "a penny for your thoughts" comes from.....:):)

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  2. love this....hope you daughter reads this and is inspired to create a peice of art that reflects this story....
    love - lightening bug

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