Saturday, August 12, 2017

Pennies from Heaven

Pennies are everywhere, right? I mean, they're on the ground, at the cash register at Starbucks, they're probably in your sofa cushions.

A few weeks ago, I began to notice random pennies on the ground when I was about town, running errands, and fueling the car. And it wasn't just one day, they started appearing repeatedly -- it became every day, after every errand, to the point that I began to wonder what was going on. I couldn't ignore them. But, "It's just a penny. Why stop to pick it up? What can it do for me?"

Maybe I was going about this all wrong.
This jar will be full very soon.

After a week or two, it began to bother me not picking up that single penny. It's as if God was saying, "I will provide for you but you have to take it," every time I saw one in the dirt, on the street, underneath a counter.

And I was intentionally ignoring it. 

By not picking them up, I was saying, "This blessing is too small. This is insignificant. This is not really taking care of me."

The issue wasn't the smallness of the blessing, but the smallness of my heart. Was my heart losing its capacity to be grateful for not just the small but for that which could give me nothing in return?

I'm a treasure hunter by nature. I've secretly and not-so-secretly told some that if I could have been anything, it would've been an archaeologist (particularly Egyptology). But, that wasn't a career to take care of a family with now, was it. So, I chose writing. Because starving artists is really where it's at. Ha. I digress...

I sell vintage clothing these days, too, which really is just like archaeology. Only instead of unearthing a mummy, it's 1950s dresses or vintage denim. Different and yet the same. Both require slow searching, then excavation, and finally revelation. But, it's still treasure.

The blessing is there. We just have to look for it.  

Pennies, though relatively worthless, are still something.  And they're in plain sight. Every day. Everywhere you go. God is saying, "Hi! I'm right here, even down at your feet, and I'm thinking about you and I will provide for you and give you what your heart desires even if it takes time, and even if you don't think the answer I'm giving you is what you need right now."

I finally said to my kids, "If I picked up a penny every day, how long do you think I could go finding them?" I mean, this is money. Small money, but it's money. And there is something spectacular in valuing something that so few people value.

My friend Brian says this ↑. He's right, you know.
It's been a few weeks. Some days I find a penny, some days five cents or a quarter (jackpot!) Other days, I find nothing. But so far, I've averaged a penny a day. Like manna to the Israelites, whether or not they appreciated it or realized how miraculous it truly was to get fresh manna everyday, their job was to perceive the miracle and take the blessing.

God gave it, but they had to take it.

I know it's silly. Pennies are small change. But, when you put them together, little by little, they become something much greater. " ... whoever gathers little by little makes it grow (Prov 13:1, NIV).

Timing is everything, my friends. And over time, small because large. Less becomes more. Lack becomes abundance.

I'm choosing to tell myself (literally, saying it out loud) with every penny I pick up that I'm blessed beyond belief, that I have more than I need, more than enough -- food, time, talent, gifts, love -- to give myself and everyone around me. It's just up to me to take it.

So, I am blessed. Everyday. With a penny in my pocket or not, the point is I have so much.

Did I wake up this morning? Blessing.
Did I swallow my coffee? Blessing
Did my car start? Blessing
Did I have a job or work to do? Blessing.
Did I have food to eat? Blessing.

These are pennies from heaven. These are our daily manna. Out of the overflow of our hearts, our mouth speaks. I want to speak into my life that all in it is beautiful and intentional, regardless of it's magnitude.

If I am grateful with little, I am grateful with much. 

And isn't that a place we all want to be?


-HJS


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