Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Find A Penny Pick It Up

Today I found a penny. Heads up. "In God We Trust" etched atop the President's head. The date was 1976. As I walked the beach with the penny in my palm, my mind wandered. What was I doing in 1976? Clearly, I remembered the bicentennial celebration we had that July at our beachhouse in Long Beach Island, New Jersey. My parents were so excited to be celebrating 200 years of our country's heritage!

I remember my Dad teaching us about the founding fathers and the Judeo-Christian values that the framers shared. The fireworks were the least of my memories, as that year I had a newfound respect for America. I never had thought of her as an individual nation. I was 10 years old that year. This was the first time I had thought about belonging to something other than my family. I watched as my Dad screwed the flagpole to the top deck and then ceremoniously hung the American Flag. That year was the first year we had ever seen a flag hang from our house. Something changed in my father that year. He became more patriotic, almost pensive about our country's past and future.

This morning, as I held that dark penny with copper flecks, I realized those were much better days. I hunger for the simpler days of running down the beach chasing seagulls with my sisters. Those beach weekends were the best days we shared as a family. I walk the beach today with a heavy heart.

Will "In God We Trust" be included on the next batch of pennies to come from the Treasury Department with the next Presidency? Will one world government and federalization convince us that paper and coin are inferior to a chip in my hand or on my forehead? Will true liberty exist or will we lose our superpower status and thus our alliance with Israel will be forever broken.

These are very real fears I have. As a born again believer, as a child of the Lord Jesus I know God is in control. He is head over government, rulers, kings, nations,head over all. He was in control, is in control and ever will be.

My heart grieves over this past election moreso because the topic of life never was an issue. As a believer, the number one deciding factor for decision of Presidency should be life. Sadly, life was not as important as coin. And so as I have pondered this penny in my hand, I have decided to place it in a jar high atop a shelf - just so no one will tip it over. See, this penny is very important. Though it's value is quite small, it's meaning is not. This penny represents a life. A life that had no vote. A life that no one spoke up for. This penny represents a nation that still claims, "In God We Trust" but kicks God to the curb. This penny will forever be representative of a life that never took its first breath and so was spared the sad statement that its life was not valid unless someone (not God) decided it was valid. It's life was negotiable, like a pair of jeans at the end of a garage sale. And above the candidate's "pay grade" to decide if it had meaning or not.

For voters did not put God's commandment first to Love God, Love your Neighbor as yourself, never mind protecting the poor, widows, infants. "You have taken notice, for you always see one who inflicts pain and suffering. The unfortunate victim entrusts his cause to you; you deliver the fatherless."(Psalm 10:14). And so I continue to believe "In God We Trust" though it may be removed from the public square.

My Dad continues to hang the flag at sunrise and take it down before dark, we hope and pray for racism and double standards to decline. We pray for our new President though we do not agree with his theology and never will. We pray for his two precious daughters and his wife. We hope for peace but know that even Jesus came with a sword and never to establish an earthly kingdom of peace. We know our Bible and we agree "In God We Trust." Come what may, we know the end of the story. And for now, we know why Matthew 24:4-14 this world is groaning. We do not place our trust in men for solving the world's ills. Only God.

Today I found a penny. And I picked it up. It's value is immeasurable. As I leave the beach, I look up and see the sparkling sea, with gulls in the distance. I am grateful for this day. I am grateful to be alive and well. I am grateful for my freedom. I am thankful for the good memories of days gone by. I am proud to be an American. I will never give up on hoping for all the best.