My dog tugged on the leash as I looked down at the tarnished penny in the road. Should I pick it up?
“Put a penny in your pocket, and save it for a rainy day.” My grandma’s green eyes sparkled as she picked up a penny and slid it into her pocket. I raced ahead across the parking lot, as I often did, to check the newspaper coin return for quarters. It was our ritual. Any time I walked with Gram, we checked the coin return in telephone booths, candy machines and any change found went into Gram’s pocket. She sang that little ditty from her childhood, but she always grinned at me and added, “It’s for investment. God and I have a deal.”
Gram was always collecting for “investment.”
A quarter lost in the parking lot. A tip earned from her job at the bakery. A penny abandoned on the sidewalk. Change left in the washing machine. Often I wondered how much these little offerings could possibly contribute to the needs of the world, but those thoughts never stopped me from helping. Gram had a way of making it fun and it was our special thing, along with writing silly poetry.
One day I asked if she really thought her investment money made a difference.
Her eyes grew serious and we sat together on a park bench while she reminded me that God didn’t really need our money, but He did need that commitment from us. She said any chance we have of helping Him by serving others is our way of showing Him our love and trust. And then Gram told me how much investment money she had turned in the previous year. My eyes grew wide – I had no idea her quarters, dimes and pennies added up to that amount.
But over time, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I often found coins when I was with Gram and they were for investment.
I rarely found coins when by myself.
Hmm. I wondered – was that God helping Gram with her investment?
After all, Gram had told me, she asked God for lots of things, and this was the thing that she did for God. It was kind of her deal with God – whatever she found, was His.
I picked up the tarnished penny and placed it in my pocket. My dog tugged happily and we continued our walk while thoughts kept running through my head.
I’ve asked God for a lot in the last few years:
· Our son to be healed from leukemia
· Safety for our oldest daughter in Guatemala
· Our middle daughter to be able to attend the college of her choice
· A job to work out
· Safety on long daily commutes
· Prayers for our mothers
· And many other things that came and went in my life
Yes. I made a lot of requests of my Savior. And while I know He doesn’t mind, I began to ponder what I’ve given Him in return. Sure, I teach about Him daily, I’m privileged in my job to be able to do that. I sing to Him a lot. I pray a lot and I give thanks many times a day. It has been my delight to go on many mission trips, but those are so fun for me, I don’t really believe they’re much of a sacrifice.
My dog joyfully raced around me in circles as we cut through the park and out onto the road on the other side. As I bent to fasten her leash once again, something bright and shiny glistened in the sun in the middle of the road. I checked for cars and led the dog into the road. I grabbed another penny and slid it into my pocket with the first.
Yes, God. You’re right. I need to be more intentional about looking for ways to give back.
“Put a penny in your pocket” chanted in my head as my steps turned toward home. Two cents wasn’t going to change the world. So far, I didn’t have enough to even warrant me sending it to my church treasurer, but the conviction grew in my heart.
“I’m going to do it, Gram,” I whispered. “I’m going to keep up your investment project.” I don’t know why I haven’t done so before.
My dog danced on the end of her leash as we cut through the shortcut to my street. Right in front of my house, wouldn’t you know it – a third penny sat waiting for me in the street.
My blue eyes sparkled as I slid the penny into my pocket.
God and I have a deal.
With God, a penny goes a long way! #inspirememonday #blessedbutstressed Click To Tweet