Prodigal: I found a penny!
Me: Keep it, and I can share a story about a penny.
This is from the book Chicken Soup for the Soul: Stories of Faith by Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen
Years ago, when out finances were less than ideal, I took a job vacuuming the halls and carpeted stairwells of our run-down condominium building. Work is work, and I told myself it was honest work. But it wasn’t what I’d imagined myself doing for employment and it dented my pride.
It was certainly difficult work; the portable vacuum weighed twenty pounds and the condominium hallways were mostly stairs, twelve staircases in all, three flights up each. Six staircases a day was all I could manage. Stirred up dirt and dust clung to my skin, sweaty from hauling the vacuum up and down the airless staircases, and there were days when self-pity and wounded pride made the vacuum weigh even more.
On a day that had been particularly hard, when my pride tweaked with every cigarette butt and piece of trash I picked up, I hauled my portable vacuum up the stairs and asked God, in a tone more rueful than meditative, to give me something, anything, to perk up my sagging spirit.
On the third floor, nearly hidden in the crevice where the frayed carpet met the wall, glinted a shiny penny. “This?” I asked God. “This is what you give me?” I sighed, but I pocketed the penny and didn’t give it much thought beyond that.
Curiously, pennies began to turn up each time I vacuumed the halls. They hadn’t been there in the months before as I’d vacuumed up dried leaves and crumpled gum wrappers. But now, each time, there was a penny. One penny only. It became a game to me, wondering where and when the lone penny would turn up. Always, before the job was completed, there would be that one coin, as if it were waiting for me. I started to say a thank you to God each time I retrieved the penny and pocketed it, and began to think of these small, found treasures as my pennies from heaven.
I didn’t tell anyone. There are pennies everywhere, right? Considered outdated, what is a penny but a useless coin that doesn’t buy anything in this expensive age? The condo-cleaning job was the least of the hardships visited upon me in the last few years, and pennies weighed against family misfortunes and ill luck seemed small change, indeed.
Still, it gave me a jolt of renewed hope each time I spotted one–and more often than not, that hope alone was enough for me.
–Susan Clarkson Moorhead
Sometimes all the hope we have is just a penny but at least we have hope. God can multiply fish and bread. He can multiply a penny.
Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in , in the Sanctuary, O LORD, which thy hands have established.
Jennifer Van Allen