And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4 NASB)
The Widow’s Mite! It’s been used in “Stewardship Sermons” for ages. In Mark, Jesus goes and intentionally sits and waits for her to give. In Matthew, this account is missing, as it is in John. Here in Luke, Jesus looks up. It’s as if, in the midst of all He is saying and doing, He remembers, “Oh right, the widow!”. He looks up and points her out.
There are many interesting things about this account, not the least of which is the question of what happened to the widow? But another is whether anyone else noticed. The chances were high that she was easy to spot for what she was. She probably looked the part since she had reached that point only after selling everything else. Would anyone else have spotted the unaccompanied woman in old worn clothes?
But what sort of person, or what drives a person to the point where putting the last two coins in the treasury is good idea? How does that happen? When does that happen? In a sense we might think she’s given up, reached a point where there is no point, so might as well give the rest.
But think about what she’s done. She’s given the last of what she had to the One she figured was responsible. All things come from God, good or bad. Yet, regardless of her circumstances, she gives to the One having landed her in them. The God of her fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has taken her husband, left her without children to support her, without land, without legal protection, and without finances. And to Whom does she give her last two coins? This God of her fathers.
How easy is it for me to give in to my circumstances, blaming and resenting my Father in Heaven? How cheaply do I sell my joy and contentment? For what will I trade the blessings of being a child of the King? She held on through everything, and gave right to the end of everything she had. I have much and give out of my abundance, and whine like a mule because my job is boring. Really?
The thing distracting me is me. What gets my view off my Savior and on my circumstances is my discomfort, my boredom, my frustration with management from whom I feel disconnected and marginalized. Ah, poor blessed employed whiner, such a pity he’s being ignored by people he doesn’t know. Funny how I have such a problem getting people to come over to my pity party. I probably should have had cake and balloons.
So different from a widow with two coppers. Maybe if I grew up to be like her my life would be more of a blessing to others. I can’t imagine her mindset, which is really dangerous. I should be living it, forget imagining it. I’m going to force my focus on Jesus. Today I will practice the presence of my Savior. Booyah!
What’s your view of our Master through the fence?