"The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty,
But those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty." (Proverbs 21:5 New King James Version)
The simple conversation quickly turned into an intense and shocking monologue.
It was at a laundromat, fairly early this morning. One female customer began making small talk with the laundry attendant on duty who was also a woman. It was the laundry attendant who launched into a disturbing rant.
"A guy brought in a bunch of pennies and he wanted me to change them into quarters," she began. Quickly, she was yelling about her refusal to accept the pennies, but it didn't stop there.
"I hate pennies!" she went on, "No, I mean I really hate them! I throw them away. Anytime I have pennies, I throw them into the trash. When I've found out my kids had any pennies, I've thrown them into the trash."
It didn't stop there. She continued on for at least a paragraph, laced with 'F-Bombs' and all sorts of blasphemies, profanity, and offensive language. The level of hate she was manifested was amazing. She mentioned that people have told her pennies are money and therefore should not be thrown away. It was that objection which others have given to her regarding throwing pennies into the trash that made her the angriest of all.
I was so tempted to say something to her! I wanted to tell her I'll give her a plastic container; that she can just deposit any pennies into it and once a month or so, I'll take them from her! I also wanted to tell her that I understand that pennies can be an inconvenience, but that people who save them and bring them to the bank sometimes end up leaving the bank with tens of dollars, and occasionally even hundreds of dollars.
In the Assemblies of God, children bring in little plastic barrels filled with change once a month. (That program is called "B.G.M.C.", which stands for "Boys and Girls Missionary Challenge".) The money goes to missionary projects all over the world. A number of years ago, my wife led the little church we pastored in a B.G.M.C. project to bring in pennies for a "penny weigh". As I recall, it was boys against girls, and the side who brought the most pennies won. I forget what they won and I forget who won, but I do remember that on the following day, Mary Ann and I wheeled an old-fashioned children's "red wagon" into the lobby of the (then) Shawmut Bank on Union Avenue in Framingham, Massachusetts. The employees were very cooperative in helping us make the deposit. As I recall, it was over $600. and that was from a very small church of under fifty in total attendance.
The attitude of that laundry attendant spoke volumes today. To Mary Ann back in the late 1980s, the pennies were a wonderful tool to help the missionaries. Eternity will reveal the many blessings that came from the large pile of copper coins. To the laundry attendant, pennies (i.e. legal tender) are simply something to be thrown away.
This is really the classic example of: One person's trash is another person's treasure!
What do you think? Shall I print this out and bring it in to that laundry employee along with a shiny copper penny? Do you think she'd just throw my article and penny away?
Please leave a comment or e-mail me! I'm really interested in your feedback! And if you want to give some pennies to your church for missions, I don't think your pastor will refuse that donation!