I would imagine, for some readers, that the fact I find (or am shown, or given) coins almost every day might make you uncomfortable. I am RIGHT there with you, on some levels: it blows my mind, every single time. But it also delights me beyond measure, and I simply say thank you with all of my heart. Here are a few recent stories.
In mid-October, not long after I started working at the preschool, I was struggling. The one year anniversary had just passed. As I walked into the classroom that morning, feeling pretty weepy and trying so hard to pull it together so that I could be useful and interactive, there was a play dime, a plastic dime right in the middle of the otherwise clean carpet. We really have no other play money around.
In late October, we went to see Sarah’s HS color guard (she is the instructor) perform at a marching band competition a couple of hours south. Steve and I were filled with fierce pride and awe as we watched her stride around on the field and give the kids a pep talk; as they performed, we could see her grace and movement in every one of theirs.
Afterward, we only had moments to give her a quick hug and say hello to the kids before we had to get on the road to my college reunion. As we walked away, I said to Mark: “I know you are here, and I know you are just as proud of her as we are.” A 1996 nickel lay just steps away.
In the 3rd week of November, I was having a hard time not over-parenting Sarah. I was literally standing in my closet arguing with myself and getting wound into a knot, when I almost heard Mark saying “MOM-MOM-MOM! CALM DOWN. Oh my GOODness. Shhh Shh Shh!” I could nearly feel him pressing his thumbs into my temples and then his fingers vigorously rubbing my head. And then I could swear he said, “I’ll talk to her!” I said, “Have at it!”
Sarah needed her hair cut, so we went out to get that done, then headed for another salon for eyebrow maintenance. Sarah went in first; I looked to my left as I sat in a chair in the waiting area, and there was a penny. Sarah returned shortly after and I went into the tiny room, setting my purse and coat on a small chair. As I turned to lay on the padded table, there was a dime where my feet would shortly rest. I think it was for Sarah, but she didn’t see it. Keep trying, buddy.
In late November, one night as I was going grocery shopping, I half-joked with Mark that he hadn’t sent me any nickels lately. The next day, I found out a close friend was struggling with depression and anxiety. I went for a walk and was desperate for this young soul, begging God for mercy and peace. I got to a point where I could go straight, or I could go left and wander through a townhouse development before hitting a dirt path that would get me back to the main route. I chose to go left, which I rarely do. Upon getting to the dirt path, there was a shiny new nickel lying on the ground. It seemed only appropriate to sit down and cry.
In early December, I was out walking while Steve was with his mom for a morning visit. He ran into one of her friends in the parking lot. As they chatted, she suddenly pointed with her cane to something shining on the ground: a dime. At about the same time, as I was walking and asking God for help with evicting darkness and inner guck (self pity, anger) from my soul, there was a glimmer – a dime, covered with asphalt from a recent street-repaving.
This past Sunday, I was serving as worship leader at church. Five minutes before the service, I realized (a) I’d forgotten to wear deodorant, (b) I was starting to sweat…a lot… and (c) I was wearing a polyester dress (and polyester will hold a smell like nothing else) which I had to wear the rest of the day.
I raced frantically to the preschool. “CHRISTY! DOES BETH HAVE DEODORANT?” (Beth P keeps a a well-stocked emergency supply drawer of tampons, sanitary pads, etc.) No. Crap! Back in the bathroom by the sanctuary, I started swabbing my pits with damp paper towels while dreaming of a bottle of Febreze. I glanced around and realized there was room deodorizer on the window-sill. I’d placed it there myself, having pilfered my MIL’s supply of deodorizers she kept handy to hide her smoking habit. Oh well, that would have to do. I grabbed it and started spraying my dress, There was a penny under the can.