Remember when I went to Blue Ridge and so many crazy awesome writing-editing connection things happened? And how I drank lots of sweet tea?
And remember how, before I went, I was big on collecting pennies and coins in my jar?
And you know how I have a writer’s mind so I link cause-and-effect like other people don’t? Well . . .
Say hello to my new “jar”.
Every time I drop a coin or bill into my Sweet Savings bottle, it’s a reminder of what I’m striving for. And the fact that it’s a much bigger container than the little jar is an indicator of just how big my dreams are.
But wait . . . there’s more.
I’d not found pennies on the sidewalk for quite a while. At least a month. And y’all know how I feel about pennies, right? They’re the essential building block for life.
So I’m starting to feel a little let down, you know? A little ignored by God. Oh, stop! You say. Not finding a penny does not equate being abandoned by God. I know that.
Don’t you think I know that?
And yet . . . as I’m sipping my sweet tea, and missing my Blue Ridge peeps, and wondering why I’m not finding pennies, God creeps into my psyche. You know how He does. That still, small voice that hijacks your thought process and turns you on your heels because you secretly asked Him to even though you’re not sure want to admit it.
So the prayer-conversation went something like this:
ME: Go away.
GOD: Is that really what you want?
ME: Yes. Maybe. No. I don’t know. I’m mad at you. Go away so it’s easier for me to be mad at you.
GOD: Why are you mad at me?
ME: Because I miss my people. And I have unfulfilled dreams. And you haven’t given me teddy bears or pennies for a really long time. I miss that.
GOD: You know why I used to give you teddy bears and pennies?
ME: Because you loved me. And you know I collect teddy bears and pennies. They used to call me the ‘Teddy Bear Rescue Mission’ because I’d find so many abandoned teddy bears on the roadside. I’d take them home and fix them up. And I still have them. And the pennies state right there ‘In God We Trust’. And when I needed to remember to trust You, You’d give me a penny. Or more. And You haven’t lately. Nothing. At all.
GOD: I don’t give you pennies as often because you already know to trust me. You still trust me. You don’t need the reminder.
ME: I know. But it’s still nice to be told You’re thinking of me.
GOD: I’m always thinking of you. And I don’t give you teddy bears any more because you don’t need them. The bears I used to give you were for comfort and security. You’re growing up nicely and don’t need that any more.
ME: I know, but . . .
GOD: But you still want them. I understand. And when you appreciate those gifts as gifts I’ll let you find them again. But right now, you want them for the wrong reasons. Right now, you want them so you don’t feel alone.
GOD: But you’re not alone. And you know that.
GOD: I have something better for you to collect: People.
GOD: People. Every person you know is worth treasuring. Some are more valuable than others, and some are older than others. But every one is a treasure.
ME: I’m a people-collector?
ME: So you’re telling me I don’t need pennies or teddy bears, but I do need people. And these coins are symbolic of the people in my life. Past, present, and future. The people I interact with are important. They are my fun, my security, my soft hugs, my reprimands, my world.
ME: You know, when you put it that way, my treasures far outweigh what’s contained in this bottle. There’s family, writers, church, the day job, Facebook peeps, supporters.
GOD: I know.
[Insert seriously long pause as I contemplate the need to recognize the value in others, and the necessity of showing others how valuable they are to me.]
ME: Hey, God?
GOD: Yes, Child?
ME: Will you be my first penny?
GOD: I thought you’d never ask.
And Frankly, My Dear . . . that’s all she wrote!
You may also enjoy reading:
Invisible Person in a Sea of People: Robin H. and the 99-Cent Sin
Stop Fighting and Be Still.