Cavan’s Prayer – Waters Below, Waters Above

This page last updated on 2015-07-02

Coin Name :     Cavan’s Prayer

Edition Name:     Waters Below, Waters Above

Finish:     Antique Nickel

Years Minted

2012 – 50 coins

Gregson wrote the prayer on the front of this coin for his nephew when he was still very young. It was designed to be an alternative for the prayer “God is great, God is good”, so it sounds similar. However in addition to being the usual grace to give thanks for food, it also reminds us that one of the greatest gifts that we can receive is the ability to give to others. In the Biblical story of Abraham in the book of Genesis, Abraham receives a blessing part of which is: “I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” It is amazing that one of the first parts of this blessing is that Abraham will also be a blessing to others. In other words, he will have the ability to give good things to those around him.

This concept of being able to give is represented on the front of the coin by the overflowing cup. Often when people seem to give gifts, there are strings attached. They only give because they expect to get something back in return. What seems to be a gift, is really a selfish attempt to gain something. Perhaps the only time that we truly give without expecting to be paid back is when we feel that we are completely full of good things so that we don’t need anymore and we can just give; our cup is overflowing.

The back of the coin shows the sources of our food and not all of it is rated G. There they are, the animals that we kill to put food on our tables. Except for the buck with the antlers, all of the animals marching around are farm animals. The center shows food from the water, the middle ring shows land based meat, and the outer ring shows flying meat. The outer ring also shows food that grows from the earth. Wheat and squash were chosen because they were easily recognizable even when shown at small size on the coin. Also needed for our food to grow, is the sun and the rain. The four trees are meant to be orange and apple trees.

*** Narrative ***

“In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.”

Before our current understanding of the shape of the universe, there were a number of different ideas of how the earth was situated compared to the sun, moon, planets, and stars. In Mesopotamia, there was an idea that water surrounded the entire earth, below and above. When people dug down in the ground, they found water and from the sky fell water, so there must be waters below and waters above. You can see some of that in the Noah story. This coin comes from Noah’s universe.

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