As I bent down to pick up the well-worn object while out walking, I was transported back to an elementary school yard playground in California. Toe-tempting, blonde-like sand covered every inch of the playground, including the spot beneath the slide where I found myself passing the time at recess. Kicking at the sand paid off…literally. Within a few minutes I was “rich.” Well, at least it seemed that way after finding a handful of mostly silver coins!
Finding money has always been exciting for me. It seems my two kiddos have caught the “coin craze” too. When a coin catches their eye, they nearly trip over each other while racing over to see who will get to it first. Though we occasionally find silver coins, it’s more often that the copper ones are discovered while we are out and about.
What a story each coin must have, especially the pennies. We see the evidence of a hard life – dirty, bent, worn, scarred, and sometimes even broken. If only they could talk and tell us about the places they’ve traveled, the reasons for their “scars,” the people they’ve met, and so on. Tip jars, junk drawers, drains, pockets, donation collection boxes, and maybe even the trash contain a high volume of these one cent coins. Why is that? In reality, those pennies have the lowest value. They aren’t worthless, but are worth less. Those pennies can quickly be ignored, kicked, stepped on, or discarded with ease.
But picking up the penny that day instantly reminded me of this verse from God’s Word…
…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40b).
Like a penny, we all have a story too. There are well-worn, well-traveled, broken, and scarred people all around us. We’ve passed them at the street corner, walked by them the store, or even glanced their way in our own church or community. In God’s reality, “the least of these” has the highest value.
Showing Christ’s love, care, compassion, forgiveness, grace, mercy, patience, and more with them is equal to doing it to the very one Who deems us as valuable in Him. These “pennies” all around us don’t need to be polished and smooth to be used. God can use them just as they are. It’s up to us to notice them and pick them up right where they are.
“But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.”
– Psalm 40:17 (KJV)
“Heavenly Father, thank You for thinking about me even in my poor and needy condition. May I follow your example and value others the way You do. Give me eyes to see the needy, rather than myself, and show them the love of Jesus….”