To any other passer-by the treasure of the day was just a worthless coin, but to my son it was a marvelous discovery. As I savored Joshua's delight, I wondered: When did I surrender that poverty of spirit that my children so naturally demonstrate? When did a shiny penny become meaningless? When did a tangerine-tummied robin become commonplace? When did the melody of a child's belly-laugh change from music to noise?
In her book Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Annie Dillard writes about hiding pennies as a youngster for someone else to find: I would cradle (a penny)at the roots of a sycamore, say, or in a hole left by a chipped-off piece of sidewalk. Then I would take a piece of chalk and, starting at either end of the block, draw huge arrows leading up to the penny from both directions. After I learned to write, I labeled the arrows: SURPRISE AHEAD or MONEY THIS WAY. I was greatly excited during all this arrow- drawing at the thought of the first lucky passer-by… The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But-and this is the point- who gets excited by a mere penny?...If you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days.
I'm not sure when I lost the "healthy poverty" that colored my childhood, but I am certain that my children are God's personal invitation to recover what I've lost. While the rest of the world seeks riches, I want to find poverty: the kind that my children so gleefully display. I want to be a mom whose heart pockets jingle with the happy sound of Heaven's pennies!
Here are a few of the coins I've collected today...
*A slobbery morning kiss from my baby
*A steaming cup of coffee to warm my hands
*The sound of raindrops on my roof
*A handwritten note delivered to my mailbox
* A tree outside my window that looks like its abloom with popcorn
*The sweet privilege of hugging a friend who has allowed me
to share her tears.
The day is far from over, so I'll keep looking! Care to join me?
Today's Treasure: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven" Matthew 5:3