So, off I headed into the cluster of homes that nestled up against the auto shop. When I walk, I am often multi-tasking..... doing things like admiring God's beautiful creation; problem solving; agenda planning; big dreaming; talking with the One who loves me most. I had made at least three trips around the vast expanse of homes when something glimmered on the road. I stopped. Bending over, I picked up a copper penny.
A quick flashback zipped through my mind. I recalled being at a retreat a number of years ago. We had just returned to the meeting place after a short break, and as we walked in, there were pennies everywhere. Pennies on the floor. Pennies in the chairs. Pennies on the stage. Pennies galore. There were murmurings all around.... "Why are there pennies everywhere?". We wondered.
As the session was drawing to a close, finally, there was mention of all the pennies. The question was asked, "Did anyone pick up a penny?" No hands went up. We just sat there. The point was made that just as we find pennies on the ground in our everyday lives, there are people who are lost and without purpose and a Savior. It is our responsibility to find them, love them, and show them the Way.
While walking in that neighborhood, I had been oblivious to the penny on the ground until my fourth venture around. The penny caught my eye, and my mind immediately flew back to that retreat and I remembered how each of those pennies represented a lost soul. I remembered how important it is to pick up each penny I find, and then to find a soul who is lost or lonely or in need of a friend. And how important it is to have my eyes open each day.
In my final few rounds of the neighborhood, I found three more pennies that day. As you can see, they are all different. One is still rather shiny, and some are showing a bit more wear and tear. Souls around us are the same. Some have been through the wringer, and some appear to be almost perfect. We all have one thing in common, though. None of us are pretty enough or together enough or smart enough or perfect enough to make it to heaven. None of us have been run over too many times, made too many poor choices, nor been too bad to make it into heaven. There is only one way, and that is through putting our trust in Jesus. If we know Him, it is our responsibility to pick up the pennies we find along our path - those souls who will never be able to get there on their own.
As you find pennies on the ground, let it be a reminder to look for those who need to hear that Jesus has already made a way for them. Let it remind you of the Gift you have inside - and the calling to share that with those who cross your path.
I hope you never see a penny on the ground without thinking of the value Jesus has placed on each one of us!