Upon returning from a trip to the supermarket, I spied a penny lying on the ground. Despite my hands being occupied, I managed to retrieve the coin from the ground and smiled as I put it in my pocket, recalling many years ago the lesson and the origon of where this penny came from.
PENNIES FROM HEAVEN
“Alright” I said to my five year old son, “for being such a big help to Dad, you may select one candy from the display (although for his remarkable patience he deserved more!). As he faced the cascade of boxes of candy on display, I began to load the groceries on the conveyer belt. As I reached into my pocket and withdrew some bills, a few pennies fell to the floor. Two pennies, too embarrassing for a grown man to be scrambling around for! As I pulled my eyes away from the still dancing pennies, I noticed one of my bills had slipped out of my hands and also had fallen to the floor. As I bent down to retrieve the dollar, I scooped up the two pennies that I was willing to just leave behind for someone with a little less pride to pick up.
“Twenty dollars, ninety seven cents” smiled the cashier. I handed her twenty one dollars, and she handed me the three pennies back. As I was tossing the change into my pocket, I could hear the clanging of money on the floor. I had missed my pocket, and the three pennies went rolling across the floor! Quick as a flash, my five year old son was on top of them. “Here Daddy, you dropped your money!” he said with a big satisfied grin.
It was then I recognized the huge difference between man and boy. How my pride intercepted my effort to pick up a few pennies from the floor. How my son, basking in his innocence, felt none the less slighter by picking up the pennies. A strange sense ran down my spine, was my ego too large? I knew there was a reason for this observation, but was not sure what.
Once home, I took out the three pennies that my son enthusiastically picked up from the floor and placed them in a jar. I promised myself, that I would never be too proud to stop and pick up a penny from the ground. As a reminder, I would place the coins that I found in that jar.
Years passed, I found pennies, nickels and dimes everywhere!
There they were, in parking lots, on sidewalks, beneath the seats at stadiums and theaters! Some were unknowingly dropped by their owner, but many were just left behind, not worth the effort of climbing over an ego to retrieve. The contents of the jar swelled.
Then one day, many years since those first three pennies, I read an article in a local newspaper. A family with a critically ill five year old son was holding a fundraising event at a local park. They needed money for a lifesaving operation. Without a thought, I emptied out the jar, and began to roll up the pennies, nickels and dimes. As I rolled, I recalled that moment when my son retrieved the first three pennies. I took all the rolled money and placed it a bag.
On the day of the fundraising event, I went to the park and stood at a long table where home baked goods were being sold to raise money. “Sir, how about a cookie for a dollar?” asked the lady behind the table. I recognized her from the newspaper article; it was the mother of the sick boy. I handed her my bag of rolled coins. “How about twenty seven dollars and thirteen cents” for one of those cookies I smiled. “Wow” she exclaimed, barely able to lift the canvas bag from my hand. “Goodness gracious” she laughed, “pennies! Loads of them, where on earth did you get all of these?” she exclaimed. I began to tell her the story of how, one day long ago, I was a too embarrassed to pick up some pennies off the floor, but my son, who picked them with a certain pride, had taught me a lesson. She smiled and thanked me and said,” Now I know where these came from, they are pennies from heaven”.
and so I learned...if you allow your ego to grow too large, it will block your sight of the small details....and the goodness that you might be able to render to others!
Peace to all Marc :)