A few months ago, my husband and I were invited to spend the weekend at his employer’s home. I was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than our house. The first day and evening went well, and I was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live.
My husband’s employer was quite generous as a host and took us to the finest restaurants. I knew I would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so I was enjoying myself. As the three of us were about to enter an exclusive restaurant one evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of us. He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment. I wondered if I was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped and a few cigarette butts.
Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny. He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure.
How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up? Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at me. Finally, I could not stand it no longer. I asked if the penny he found had been of some value.
A smile crept across the man’s face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for us to see. I had seen many pennies before! What was the point of this?
“Look at it.” he said. “Read what it says.”
I read the words, “United States of America.”
“No, not that; read further.”
“No, keep reading.”
“In God we Trust?”
“And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin, I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray. I stop to see if my trust is in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God, that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God’s way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!
Now, whenever I find a penny, I stop and pick it up. I read the words, “In God We Trust.” I simply say, “Yes God, I get the message. I do trust YOU!”
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.