Recently I received an email letter (chain letter sort of thing) from a friend of mine. It talked about found pennies. You know those ones that you sometimes find lying on the ground as you stroll down the sidewalk. This email said that perhaps they are actually pennies from Heaven - sort of messages from God or the angels that watch over us. I thought this was a very cute sentiment.
As a recovering Lutheran (13 years of parochial school can have an affect on you - good and bad), I very often struggle with thinking of God on a personal level. To me, He is most often someone who must be appeased and from whom I beg forgiveness when I have done something wrong. It's hard to think of Him as a friend - someone who is on my side. I often find Him hard to hear on a daily basis in my life.
Perhaps I'm listening more or perhaps He's realized I'm not that bright and need some more help hearing, but lately I have thought about the penny thing and have found a LOT of pennies just laying around on the street, sidewalk, etc. I don't usually see that much change on the streets, so it's been interesting to see so much lately and to think that God is trying to say, "Howdy. Just thinking about you. Just letting you know I care."
Another whisper from God came this morning as I was leaving to come to work. I've been thinking about the old man that lives across the street. I sometimes refer to him as the grumpiest old man in the world because, despite having lived in my house for 7 years, he has never once said hi to me. And I've said it to him quite a few times. He just seems to sit on his porch and simply watch the neighborhood go about its business. He's definitely an "early to bed, early to rise" kind of guy. (I've seen him out getting his paper when I leave for the gym at 4:45 AM). He also rarely has any lights on in his house in the evening. So, the other night (around 10:30), I noticed that his lights were on in his front room. This struck me as quite odd since it was so out of the ordinary. I also hadn't seen him sitting on his porch the past few days when I got home. I was pretty sure he didn't have much family and never saw anyone visit him, so, despite him never speaking to me, I was concerned about his well-being. Yesterday when I got home I nearly went over and knocked on his door to make sure he was all right. Unfortunately, I couldn't get up the nerve to do it.
With it still bothering me as I left this morning, I considered calling someone to have them check on him. I didn't want him to think I was just a nosey neighbor, you know. On my way to my garage, I saw my next-door neighbor, Jake, outside. We talked for a brief moment about how much I owed him for mowing my lawn, ended the conversation and I headed towards my garage. For no apparent reason, Jake stopped me and said, "Hey, you know that old man that lives across the street from you?" I was sure he was gonna tell me that he had died. That's just the way my mind works. Instead, he told me that his niece and nephew had come and moved him into a nursing home since his hips were failing him and he was forgetting things recently. I was relieved to hear that someone was looking after him.
Now, many of you may wonder what this has to do with God speaking to me. On the face of it, it just looks like two neighbors gossiping about the neighborhood. For me it was much more than that. The subject of the old man across the street is something that Jake and I have never talked about. There was no reason for him to share that information with me. For me, it was a whisper from God. He knew it was something that had been bothering me and he wanted to comfort my spirit.
Howdy. Just thinking about you. Just letting you know I care.