Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Penny Saved

My younger brother is a numismatist. He has collected coins ever since he was a young boy. Mike shared his knowledge of coins and collecting with anyone who would listen. I listened, a little.

I never became a big enthusiast, but I did save some coins,I thought might be valuable someday. Today I was looking through the small box of coins I had, wondering if any were worth much. I checked each one for dates and mint marks and the wear that would lessen the value. It wasn't long before my mind wandered as I picked up coin after coin.

I began to think of all the people who had touched those coins. Where had these pennies traveled and how many lives were attached to one little cent before reaching my little box? Had they been found in a purse or dropped into a car seat or sofa? Were they lost from a hole in a pocket and left to be found on the sidewalk or street? Had they had a simple path to my small collection by being handed to a clerk and give out in change again and again? To me it mattered little about the coin and its travels. I thought of the people.

The little boy or girl who held tightly to the penny while choosing a piece of candy from the counter must have thought it was gold. The Mom who dug deep into her purse for those few cents may have needed them for milk or bread. The Indian head nickle may have been a treasure saved for a special gift. Those who held my coins are connected to me in a simple way. We both found value in a small disk of metal.

We hold money in different ways. Some of us cling to it, and some of us let it go much too easily. We help others, or we selfishly use it for our pleasure. Money is given in exchange for our work. Each hour of our life is worth the wage set by our employer. Money is an exchange for our lives. It is this that gives money value to God.

Our tithe is a giving of our lives that we exchanged for wages. It is a holy sacrifice.

Father God, Creator of each life touched by my coins, You are holy. you give life and take it away! You are a Generous Giver of life. Thank You for allowing me to return to You so little of what You deserve! Forgive me for my selfish ways. Teach me to see You and Your human creation as holy and more valuable than material things. I want to hold my life out to You with open hands.
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