Just over a month ago, I posted The Penny Parable – Part I. To be honest, I was nervous. This is a Parable that is so very near, dear and personal to me. I’ve told it a hundred times to anyone who would listen, but I wasn’t sure I could do justice writing it out for the Blog. God has a remarkable way of using people to reach others, and I have been blessed with wonderful stories of how this Parable has helped others see the Little Things that God is blessing them with.
A few months ago, I was asked to speak at my friend Patty’s ministry group. She was very instrumental in helping me raise my goal for printing The Unemployment Cookbook, Second Edition. Her daughter, Genny, is the mastermind behind Apron Armor: a ministry for moms. I immediately knew I would present the story behind the Cookbook, and share the Penny Parable. As I knew it.
But was it enough? Could God speak through me enough to push me to the back so that others would see and hear only Him and not me or my Cookbook? Yes. Yes. YES!
As I prayed in preparation of the meeting, the week that led up to it was filled with pennies. And from that week was bourne The Penny Parable – Part II.
I keep a handful of pennies in a small tin in my desk at work. When I’m having a particularly difficult day, when the world doesn’t seem nice or pleasant or peaceful, when stress is nearly overwhelming, I pull a penny out and keep it on my desktop.
On those terrible, difficult days, I hold it. Right there between my forefinger and thumb is a tangible, gentle reminder that God sees everything. He knows everything. And even if things don’t go the way I want, even when my people are hurting and I’m helpless for them, even when I want to turn my back on God because His blessings seem to be invisible to the world at large… holding that penny grounds me. That penny tells me He knows I’m here. And it let’s me know He is, too.
Although fully conscious of the penny in my hand and what it stood for, why I kept it, I was unaware of another message God was calling into my heart. While I was dealing with a particularly difficult work situation, I found myself rubbing the penny. Soon enough, the situation was resolved. And I was left with a bit of dirt on my hand that had rubbed off from the penny. I washed my hands and returned to my desk to realize the penny was now shiny. Almost new.
John 10:28-29 tells us that not only does Jesus have us safely in His grip, but our Father (Abba-Daddy) God is also holding us. That’s a double dose of spiritual strength right there!
Imagine how valuable we, as invaluable as a single penny, must truly be if both the Father and the Son are holding us so very tightly.
Now, imagine the care and concern God must have for us as He rubs off the dirt and grime, taking it unto Himself and away from us. The Bible is full of passages of the Lord cleansing us from ourselves and the world around us. Our failings, our sins, our humanness is removed and, by His rubbing, we are brought back to the Glory He created us to be. Once the world’s deposits are removed from us, we can shine! We are made new!
Sometimes it’s a gentle, affection touch to let us know He’s there. Sometimes it’s a harder scrubbing, a lesson learned and a discipline deserved. But always, always, always it is with the Love of a Savior!
There may be scars He can’t remove. Nicks and spots that will remain with you, a part of your very being. That doesn’t alter your contribution to His pocket or His penny jar.
He will continue to collect you. He will continue to spiff you up and take the damages upon Himself. He will add you to His collection, and show you, You Are Not Alone.
We’re all part of something bigger. You are a foundational contribution to God’s household. Whether you believe it or not. When you think your worth is nonexistent. When you wonder what it’s all about. Without your penny, He’s short of a dollar. Without your shine, the world is dull. Without your scars, there are no lessons to learn. And without you to hold, His hands are empty.
You. Are. Important.
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!