penny in the fountain

What do people wish for when they cast their pennies in the fountain?

Me, it’s nearly always been the same. I search my pockets and weigh out my change in my palm, gauge the distance, and cast my prayer with my coins, and plip, plip! One by one my coins tumble winking to the bottom with my whisper, “May my children be healthy.”

My prayer is wide, much more vast than a handful of change, or many handsful, can represent. It pervades my hopes for these three fragile and sturdy lives over which I’ve been given influence. There are other prayers I have for them: That they will make wise choices, particularly when it’s difficult to do so. That they will be so fiercely faithful that demons would be afraid of them. That they will build others up, rather than tear them down. That they would love heroically. But if I counted up all the private, only-for-the-ears-of-God petitions I’ve made on their behalf, health seems to top the list, I’m not sure why. Perhaps because it seems to be the one thing over which I have the least control.

And having been given this gift so far I find myself profoundly grateful.


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