Penny Conversations

I love walking early in the morning with my Great Dane Thor. A few times a week we get to head out into the open fields and quiet woods for much-needed exercise.

Several weeks ago, on one of those beautiful walks, I found myself in a conversation with a stranger which I have never seen and strangely with whom I have never exchanged a word…

Thor and I regularly come by a bench in the middle of a prairie. On this particular morning, I sat down for a few minutes, closed my eyes and let the early morning winter sun warm my face. When I open my eyes, I noticed on the ground in front of me, in the melting snow, something shiny. I dug around with my feet and found a bunch of pennies. Without thinking much, I picked them up and arranged them in the shape of a cross on the bench’s armrest. Then I got up and headed back on my walk.

The other day I passed by the same bench and to my surprise found the cross still on the armrest. However, when I looked closer I noticed that it wasn’t exactly the way I had left it. Two pennies had been added to the center. Without hesitation, I grabbed one more penny and placed it on the two in middle and kept on walking. I smiled knowing that I was “conversing” with someone.

Yesterday morning I headed out again. This time determined for the bench and the cross. I wasn’t disappointed and found it rearranged. The pennies in the center were gone. Someone was trying to communicate with me. I thought for a moment how I could make my presence known. Quickly I turned all the pennies face up, with the exception of the center; I kept it heads-down. I headed for the rest of my walk – thinking for a long time about my Heavenly Father and the way He communicates with me.

Though I have not seen my Heavenly Father nor heard Him audibly say words to me, He leaves me messages everywhere. He communicates clearly through many different ways. The Bible speaks most clearly about God, who He is, what His intentions and plans are for humanity and even for my life. God also uses other people who know Him to speak truth into my life. They see things I can’t and relay messages from my Father to my heart. While I walk I often experience God’s messages for me in nature. He shows me His immeasurable power in stars and in the tiniest plant. He shows me how He cares for the birds and assures me He sees me, too.
However, the greatest message of God to humanity is the message of the cross, the Gospel. Here God showed His love for us in the most unexpected way. His flawless character mingled together with His loving intentions for us. His perfection painfully displayed our imperfections. Jesus Christ and His death on the cross was the most costly provision God had to offer to fallen people and their sins.

Maybe my cross is worth less than 20 cents, but I am eternally grateful it still speaks the most valuable message to people everywhere. I have a strange feeling the stranger knows this, too. 

1 Corinthians 1:18
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.


(pictures and devotional, Heidi Viars, 2018)


  1. This incident could become a short story or maybe even a novella! I’m picturing a discouraged or hurting person finding your cross and being blessed to tears by its presence. I, along with your other readers, will look forward to the day when you meet this person and hear his/her story. God speaks in a myriad of ways, but this is the first time I’ve heard of him using pennies! A heart-warming story and well-told, Heidi.


    • I am eager to know about this stranger. It makes me wonder if the Lord looks forward to telling us one day, face to face, how He was leaving us messages all over the world. I wonder if He is eager to reveal all the ways He was trying to let us know He was there and how much He really loves us.
      Interestingly, God used this story yesterday, as I told it to about 75 (public) high schoolers over lunch. It kept their attention. I told them that the world would like to say that it took millions of years to arrange that cross. I begged them to consider the Lord and His messages and prayed that God Himself would open their eyes to see and know Him.
      Thank you so much, dear friend, for your kind encouragement!!!
      (continuing to pray for you and your husband!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Never seen you write lengthy prose such as this, and I love your poetry. This blog entry was very easy to read and understand…….appreciate that. Also, thank you for your transparency in explaining the ways God speaks to you personally. I find He speaks to me in a myriad of ways too because He is not limited by anything. It’s just so wonderful how He speaks to His sheep in special ways that they will benefit from the most. Loved this side of your writing just as much as your poetry. You are God gifted Heidi, I ‘m thankful to know a kindred spirit, Heidi……God bless you for using your talent for Him to edify His children.


    • Thank you, dear friend! Your comment touched my heart and encouraged me so much. It’s a sweet balm to my soul. He is so good. Blessings to you today as you walk in the gifts He has poured over your life.


  3. What an inspiring story, Heidi. Isn’t it just like God to use humble pennies, coins that are virtually worthless to the world. But, pennies have “In God we trust” inscribed on them.


  4. What a precious post! You have inspired me to think and pray about this, about all the ways He gives me to share the message of the cross! Thank you and God bless you, Heidi!


  5. That inspires me to leave a “cross” message too. Now that I think of it, I did… I painted a cross on a rock and then on the back side painted “You are loved” and left it, barely hidden, in town, praying that God would find the right person to bless with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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