Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The Widow's Mite
The Widow's Mite by James Tissot.
The line that gets me from the Widow's Mite is that she gave "all she had." I think of this righteous woman who held nothing in reserve, and I am amazed at her faith. Too often I'm only willing to give what's comfortable, not everything.(From Luke 21: 1-4)
Widow’s Mite- Poverty
We were never well-to-do, even when Thomas was alive, but his death made things so difficult. I’ve been able to subsist from trading a few things from my meager garden and helping the women near me with mending and housework for a loaf of bread or a basket of figs. Rarely do I even see money anymore. Then one day Doris, my neighbor, grew ill. For three weeks I sat at her bedside, doing the best I could for her, mopping her brow and trying to lift her spirits with a gentle word. I also cooked as best I could and gave the children a little direction. Finally, I could see the warmth returning to her cheeks, and we all rejoiced.
As I prepared to leave, her kind husband handed me two mites. It was the first coin money I had seen in months. I clutched it to my chest all the way home and then paused. Had not God sustained me during this difficult time? It had been so long since I had given him anything in return. Granted, the reason was I had nothing to give but, looking at the coins in my hand, I rejoiced that I could go to the temple and make an offering to Him who had sustained me.
As I turned, I looked down at my worn shift and robe. The two mites could purchase new fabric. Then my gaze flitted to the roof which leaked during the rainy season. It could be mended for the amount in my hands and I’d have enough left over for a veritable feast. Yet I knew what I must do, and marched down the dusty road, not looking back.
Without anyone seeing me, I slipped past the wealthy men who brought their great gifts and stood in the corner. Seeing their riches, I wondered why the Lord would even care about my simple offering. I almost faltered and hoped that no one saw me as I slipped the two mites in the box, giving all that I had with faith in my heart that somewhere, somehow the Lord would provide.
I don’t know if anyone saw me or whether my small token even made a difference to anyone else, but it made a difference to me. As I walked away, I knew my sacrifice was accepted of the Lord and I was filled with peace.