Realize that if I stoop to pick up a penny I certainly pick up other monetary amounts. I remember picking up a quarter once and seeing the year of our Son's birth. That was a cool moment of memory.
The other day on the way back from taking out the trash I noticed a penny and bent to pick it up. I had to hold it to the light at a certain angle and made the date to be 1981. Memory lane kicked in like 3rd gear. The only problem was that my memory gears stopped my leg gears and I stood in our apartment's driveway for several moments. Good thing no one was leaving right then. But I wondered if someone looked out their window and wondered about the ol' guy standing and staring with a huge garbage can on his back?
1981. Wow! A home bible study that my wife and I had found a home in decided they wanted to bless us. They decided to send us on a vacation to Israel. Unplanned preparation for that trip included receiving the first prophetic word spoken over me in prayer. I remember wondering how the visiting folks praying could know so much private detail as they spoke. But also realized, "God! Duh!"
We flew to Israel in the early Spring that year. It was a 10 day trip of wonder after wonder. During the trip something precious happened in our hearts toward one another. Nothing that can be put into black & white, but something that solidified our marriage relationship in a special, eternal way. (that was part of the prophesy, too)
After I was home I became aware that my mother, who lived in Northern CA at the time, was not happy with my travel to Israel. At first I figured it was 'momma-worry' over her baby travelling in potential hostile countries. It turned out that she was upset that I would spend the money to go overseas and not spend money to travel to California to see my mother. I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer sometimes.
I prayed about it, because we really did not have the finance, and felt in my heart that I did need to visit my mother and tried to figure out how to do it. My reader must recognize that the trip to Israel was all 'gift', and didn't come from any of my own meager income.
In those days I worked a day job as a bread deliveryman. And I was also in the ministry full time. Many people on my stops often asked me for prayers so I felt it alright to ask them for prayer for my upcoming trip. Several had been excited that we were able to go to the Holy Land earlier in the year. Amazingly, and without asking for money, several different folks began to take up a little offering. I say little, because much of what was delivered to me in a tattered little envelope was coinage. A fellow deliveryman, (Chip-guy) brought the little envelope by our warehouse one morning saying, "some of the folks on our route asked me to bring this to you. I pitched in a little, too." My jaw stood open as the fellow continued, "they love you, man."
When I counted the coins and paper in that envelope it turned out to be just 50 cents short of round trip airfare to California. Wow! I was able to go and see my mother for 50 cents. Thank God!
The time that I was able to get off work happened to coincide with Mother's day weekend, 1981. My supervisor had mentioned there were no extra-men to cover my route and then after a pregnant pause said, "so I'll be covering your route while your gone." I had some jaw dropping time that year.
My visit with my mother was very, very precious to me and I believe to her. I actually sensed that it would be the last time I would see her this side of heaven. In one of our conversations together I sensed the words of release that I was to speak to her. "I'll be OK, Mom." She always worried about me. I was her baby, and in my youth, I was always her sickly baby. I remember her eyes being clear, bright and slightly tearful when I spoke those words. I knew they were words she wanted and needed to hear.
What I didn't know was that one week to the day after I returned home, my 61 year old mother passed away in her sleep. She suffered from emphysema for as long as I can remember and the last few years had been very difficult for her. I was her 3rd child and the last of her children that she needed closure(?) with. When she had felt all was in order, she simply stopped struggling and went to sleep. I love my mom!
1981: That penny carried a fortune of memories. Those that I mentioned happened before the summer that year, and beyond that is another nickels worth for another time.