Hello, but you know you are a writer when you find a penny and the first thing you do is check to see if the mint-date is the same era of your story setting.
Did I really do that?
Yes,…yes, I did, last week when I found a stray penny,…heads up, no less. The coin was struck in 1975,…only two years before Becoming Portia – New Beginnings’s setting in 1977, so I was kinda close. What was Annie Bruce doing in 1975 according to the storyline? Sixteen years old, Annie was homeless and alone. Desperate, she didn’t know where to look for help, although help was closer than she ever knew.
Have you found any pennies lately? Did you pick them up? Or did you pass them by saying, “Nah,…it’s just a cent,…worthless.”
Not so fast, the value of a penny is based upon one’s perspective. There is sentimental value, that ‘penny for your thoughts,’ which has kept many a cent in many a sock drawer for decades. Don’t deny it, we’ve all got priceless pennies tucked away here and there.
Then there is perception of added value. According to research, in 1996 a (1943) penny, only worth .01 as legal tender, was valued a rarity by a collector and sold at auction for $85,000 bucks. Not bad for a red cent, but such auction prices for coinage are the exception, not the rule.
However for the run-of-the-mill penny, its true value is found in its accumulative power. The latin phrase: E Pluribus Unum – From Many, One, struck upon every coin is our national motto. After all, get a 100 pennies together and you have $1.00. Or even more impressive is the fact that $999,999.99 can’t turn into a million without the humble cent lending its collective power.
Humble cent? It’s okay to speak of humbleness. It’s even more okay to be humble. Humility is not a virtue highly valued in our 21st century society, but only because it is so greatly misunderstood. Humility is not worthlessness, but rather humility is perceiving the worth of the One that gives us worth. While the world would say we’re ‘…worthless,’ – the Lord looks upon us as priceless,…
“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” – Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
Oh yes, Abraham Lincoln was a man of great humility. Please note what follows:
By the President of the United States of America.
Whereas, the Senate of the United States, devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just Government of Almighty God, in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by a resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for National prayer and humiliation.
And whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.
And, insomuch as we know that, by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins, to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole People? We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!
It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.
All this being done, in sincerity and truth, let us then rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high, and answered with blessings, no less than the pardon of our national sins, and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace.
In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington, this thirtieth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty seventh.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
The above was introduced in 1863 during the height of the Civil War. The national day of fasting and prayer taking place three months before the Battle of Gettysburg, which was a turning point in the war. No doubt the proclamation was inspired by 2 Chronicles 7:14.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
The things you learn when you research a blog post about pennies. The theme for this post being – Help At Hand, Closer Than You Know. I meant to highlight the little known trivia about pennies minted before 2009,…
Maybe you know this one. Maybe you don’t.
Have you ever looked closely at a penny? There smack in the middle of the Lincoln Memorial is,…Abe Lincoln. No,…really it’s teeny,…tiny…microscopic even, unless you’ve got super great eyesight. On this photo I am using two magnifying glasses, but our 16th president is in there.
Here is a super close up. Can you see him? There’s Abe Lincoln,…and he’s been there in your purse, in your pocket, on your car’s floor board, behind the sofa cushions, and on the bottom of a sock drawer the entire time.
“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln.
Gotta love Abe for his zingers. Happiness is a choice. But you know the thing is about Abraham Lincoln’s penny trivia,…is most folks don’t know where to look. If you want to see Abe for yourself,…you have to want to find him.
Here is the first attempt to take a picture of Abe on a penny. Can you even tell that’s a penny, except for the shape? The only way to take a clear picture was to get closer to the light, and add magnification.
“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” Psalm 34:3
If you notice the magnification on the lighted penny,…you’ll notice that penny wasn’t quite pristine. But then, neither are we. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
All, includes everyone, like in us,…all of us, for we all make mistakes, or rebel, or just mess up,…but yet the LORD counts us as priceless. Those less than pristine pennies,…they are still legal tender, they can still make $999,999.99 round up to a million dollars. Thus every penny could qualify to claim, “I am a million bucks.” – so are you.
It’s not a big deal if you don’t know Abe is on a penny minted before 2009, but it is a big deal if you don’t know that the LORD is close at hand, and counts you priceless.
“Seek the LORD while He may be found; call on Him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6
Humility,…perceiving the worth of the One that gives us worth.
God bless and keep you!