Monday, February 20, 2006


 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.




    “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 :)


mariebm56 said...

That was sweet as usual...
I just love it.
It's amazing how you find a lesson in something.  
Our children teach us so much~   ; )
Always worth a trip to your Journal, Marc!

bedazzzled1 said...

Hmmm...what I notice is that you are a klutz when it comes to dropping pennies. ::grin::

I am just teasing. This is yet another one of your wonderful entries that puts things in perspective and leaves the reader with a smile and lesson learned. You do it with well-told stories and a warm heart. Thank you.

Pennies from heaven...I love that.

ally123130585918 said...

Lovely entry Marc - A lesson well learned....Ally

dawngepfer said...

Marc, I've not heard this particular story before but it touched me deeply.  I believe in pennies from Heaven - every time I find one I recite:  "Every time you find a penny, know that God has blessed you plenty."  My son says "Thank you, God," whenever he finds one.  After all, it does say "In God We Trust" on each and every one, doesn't it?
Thanks for sharing!

tschamberland said...

I so love reading your stories of life.  Often your words are of the things most of us overlook, reminding us to 'stop and smell the roses'.  

Thank you,

lissamom2 said...

My dear friend, I will never forget this story as long as I live. I am going to tell this story to Austin and we are going to start such a jar for him. We will only put "found" coins and money in it. I wonder what Heaven will find for him to do with it when he is a grown man. Bless you for sharing this story. I know that others will be touched and inspired as well.


philadlfiagrl said...


what a great story! im never too proud to pick up pennies, in fact i have a drawer full of them at work, maybe its time i roll them up!!!


mastersblynn said...

I knew I was gonna like you Marc!  Thanks for sharing! Barbara

sierrajazz said...

Our Ego's can certainly get in our way.. and funny how a child can bring that to our attention with their precious innocence.

What a beautiful thing to donate that money to that family.
It was worth picking up every penny you found I bet!!

"Pennies from Heaven"   have a special meaning to me which I will share with you another time.

globetrotter2u said...


This was so beautiful.

I wish you would write a nationally syndicated newspaper column or something...

Your pennies from heaven are always gems of wisdom and discovery that we all need to think about from time to time.

God bless you, I'm off to look for pennies:)


siennastarr said...

Marc, I couldn't help but read this entry also...  reason being.. and, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it, but I tend to actually throw pennies away.  Yep.. throw them away.  In the trash.  Not because I'm too proud to have them, but because they annoy the heck out of me!  I just find them useless, and they weigh down my purse.  I know.. I should keep them in a jar and eventually all those pennies will turn into quarters, then dollars, etc etc.  They could be used for a good cause.  
Okay.. so.. your entry made me stop and think.  I shall never throw another penny away!  Ever! :)


libragem007 said...

oh Marc..this is so heartwarming..thank you for reminding me not to let my ego take over..I could really missed the good stuff.
You have gift of writing...your writings refreshed soul. It refreshes mine.
Thank you.
Gem :-)