The Pennies

“That will be $4.71 please pull around to the first window.” I dug a 20 out of my wallet as I drove around to pay for my breakfast. The guy working the drive-through was in a good mood for it being so early, and so cold. He started to count back my change to me when he realized he didn’t have any pennies in his cash drawer. As he opened the new roll I heard him gasp. “Check this out” he said to me as he handed me my change. “A whole roll of brand new pennies. Aren’t they beautiful.” He asked.

And they were. Perfectly shiny. Without a scratch on them.

I thanked him, tossed the pennies in my change cup and drove away to finish my errands.

But I couldn’t quit thinking about those shiny pennies. I was their first owner. How would I spend them? What would I do with them? Where would they travel?

I reached out to grab one of them to examine it again. But instead of picking up one penny, I grabbed two. One brand new, the other obviously very old and dirty. Its coppery shine had faded to a dull brown. It looked almost sad next to the new perfectly polished penny. I flipped it over in my hand and read the date on it. 1973. The year I was born.

The old tired penny was as old as me. Looking at the two pennies I realized that the old one was a lot like me. Tired, worn, scratched and no longer shiny. I wished I was more like the new pretty penny.

Then I realized that wasn’t true after all. The old penny and I, we’ve been through a lot. Traveled the world. Experienced a lot of life. I wondered how many hands that penny has passed through. How many times it’s been counted. I wondered if it had been cherished or taken for granted. I wondered if it had bought candy, paid the rent, put gas in the car, bought lifesaving medicine for a sick child. One thing was for certain… that penny had been used!

That was clear just by looking at it.

I want to be used too. I want to be of use. To God. To His Kingdom. Like currency in His hands I want Him to be able to spend my life as He sees fit. I want to be life and hope to the world around me. Even if it means forsaking the shiny perfection of being new. Even if it means getting a few scratches and dings along the way.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isa. 6:8

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