Let’s say you’re walking along one day, and you spot a gleaming penny. What’s your next move?
If you’re like many Americans, you scoop up that solitary coin without actually examining it. After all, most of us remember the age-old rhyme: “Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck.”
But a viral story going around Facebook provides much more meaningful food for thought. It tells the tale of a woman named Arlene.
Arlene was supposedly feeling a little anxious. She’d been invited to spend a weekend at the home of her husband’s affluent employer.
During her first day and evening at the residence, Arlene was amazed at the luxurious accommodations. Her gracious host had an exquisite mansion overlooking the water, and automobiles costing more than her own humble house.
Arlene soon discovered that actually, she was having an absolute ball. As she dined on sumptuous food and savored the breathtaking views, she realized she’d probably never be pampered this way again.
Then one evening, the trio took a short stroll to an exclusive eatery. The employer was walking just slightly ahead of Arlene and her spouse.
But suddenly, the boss stopped short. He stood there for a long, reflective moment, just staring at the pavement.
Arlene glanced down and spied a single weathered penny, surrounded by a scattering of discarded cigarette butts. Without another thought, the smiling employer stooped down and placed the penny in his pocket.
This struck Arlene as incredibly odd. Why would anyone so prosperous need for one more cent?
So she finally worked up her courage at dinner, and asked the man if perhaps he had a coin collection. He reached back into his pocket, held up the penny, and simply replied, “Look at it. Read what it says.”
“United States of America,” Arlene read aloud.
“No, not that; read further,” the gentleman said.
“One cent,” Arlene continued.
“No, keep reading,” the boss prompted.
“In God we Trust?” Arlene asked tentatively. “Yes!” her host affirmed.
“And?” she asked, still not understanding what the man was getting at. He then encouraged her to consider what that truly meant.
“If I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin,” he said. “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!”
Arlene came to realize that all these unassuming pennies are like quiet messages from God, reminding us to trust Him. Picking the coin up, placing it in a pocket, maybe even saying a little prayer — these actions are like affirmations expressing our gratitude for God’s loving care.
After the weekend at the gentleman’s home, Arlene soon stumbled upon her own penny on the ground, and thought back to his inspiring message.
“When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk,” she explained. “I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change. I read the words, ‘In God We Trust,’ and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message.”
Silently fretting about a challenging circumstance today? Take out a penny, and read the words. Then remember that pennies are in ample supply, and God is infinitely patient.
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