Some years ago Avery I had a moment along side an empty open road, standing frustrated over being stranded and the proud owner of a then broken down Ford Ranger with over 256,000 miles on it. I was on my way home from work during a time when my job required me to drive many hours coming and going….much like it still does today.
In time I hope to share the one thing that has kept me moving forward even when I was undergoing a trial or problem that had overwhelmed me, or brought out the worst in me. Grandpa at his core believes in an Almighty Being that nearly all people call “God”….. I call him “Abba” or Dad…..even Daddy when my emotional state might dictate a much more intimate thought or feeling I was dealing with. God/Abba is at the core of my heart, mind, soul, and body. And more specifically His Son who nearly all people call “Jesus”…. I refer to Him as my Lord, or Savior, brother and King but over the years I have gotten away from calling Him Jesus….that is a Greek translation that really refers to Him being “the son of Zeus” a mythical god of Greek anthology or lore. His Hebrew name is Yeshua or Joshua and as a named individual Joshua in the Old Testament took the mantle of leadership over Israel from Moses. Ask your mom or Grandma to tell you this story if I am not around to do it myself.
I had to add the above rabbit trail to this evolving story so you have a basic understanding of how I look at life as it unfolds before me daily. So as I took a few steps away from my sad Ranger up to a small berm of mowed grass and weeds and rocks. I stopped there and hung my head in frustration knowing the multitude of things I was going to need to do to get through this momentary defeat. I was looking at the ground and my feet below me feeling sorry for myself when I was distracted from my frustration by a perfectly round shape between my feet….it was a penny. How did it get there?….I was 10-15′ off the side of the road in the middle of nowhere and there it rested between the toes of my shoes. This was the first of what is now nearly 10 years later of a patently unbelievable continuance that has ensued from then to now. I picked up that “penny from God” and took it home. The change in my demeanor the moment I saw it was a testament to the peace you can find when you are close to Him at any given moment. I later framed that penny and gave it to your mom so that she could also gain encouragement from it by having it in her possession. She still has it, ask her to show it to you someday.
Now let me get to the purpose of this post/note to you. Every year from when this had first begun I continued to find and save every single coin into a baggie and always started a new bag January 1st for the next amazing total to begin. No subsequent year was ever less than the first, one year I found over $20.00….on the ground mind you. I will be honest with you Avery I never stop looking. It has become what I consider the number one surprise whenever it occurs and yet no surprise at all. He is telling me every time that this is for you Perry, I am thinking of you, keep going. I have not kept one coin since the first one, I return them all to Him to the Church we attend…..until one that I got on a recent visit back home to Florida last month. I had returned home to attend a wedding of a young man who was a part of a Youth Group your Grandma and I volunteered for. When I moved to Colorado I promised him that “when you get married Matt I will return home and be there with you”. I honored this memory and because I love him way more than I dislike Florida I was there with him. Now as the formal assembly for the wedding service was still an hour or so away it afforded me some time to wander on the beaches of my youth….(it was obviously a wedding on the beach). I roamed around picked up a few shells for your Grandma and stuck in my pocket to bring home to her, when a thought ran through my head (honest to God) “wouldn’t it be great to find a penny here in all this sand”. Well I had kicked some sand with a laugh and to my amazement was a familiar round shape there at my toe, no way, not here so far from home? In truth I had been feeling lonely and out of place only moments before waiting for things to proceed and get over so I could head out as there was 100+ people there of which I knew only one. Matt had asked me if I would pray for the blessing of the meal during the reception and I agreed. But all that faded away as I reached down to pick up the coin, I had tears of joy running down my cheek. There was something different about this one, it wasn’t round but had flat edges much like a stop sign did. I didn’t have my glasses on me so I just put it securely away and took it back home to CO.
A few days after returning home I was sitting at my computer desk and took out the coin to discover what it really was. After cleaning it with Comet I discovered that it wasn’t a penny after all, it was a British .20 Pence coin all the way from England. It was silver not copper but it had aged there in the salt sand and mist over time and was dark and encrusted like many of the pennies I have found over the years on the ground. I have it here next to me where I can take and hold it and be reminded of its significance to me personally. It is worth .34cents so I have taken a quarter and dime and added it to the running current total and have retained this “pence” to keep for myself as a very special delivery to me at a time when I was struggling at being lonely and missing home. One day I will give it to you like I did the first one to your mom for you to draw encouragement from when you are feeling lonely and missing home or someone you love. So let me end this like I started it….”Is He there Avery”?…. my answer is yes, He is.