“As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘Truly I tell you,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’” ~ Luke 21:1-4
So often, I think we struggle to identify with this passage. As Americans, it’s difficult to imagine having so little and literally giving it all away like this widow did. But I do believe that there are other forms of poverty that we can give out of, and when the opportunity arises, I hope we are able to.
This story came to mind this morning because I felt like I put in my two copper coins just making breakfast and getting my son and I to church. I made waffles for breakfast, which sounds pretty indulgent, so let me explain. I’ve never made waffles before – my husband always made them on the weekends. But I ran out of cereal and waffles sounded nice, so I got the cookbook and waffle iron out. It may seem silly to you, but learning a new skill due to circumstances like mine isn’t always fun. Yes, waffles are great and they make for a yummy breakfast, but I sure wish my husband was still alive to make them for me. And after breakfast, getting both my son and myself out the door to church some days is just hard. It seems like it would get easier, but I still wish I had help.
So today, I felt like my offering to God wasn’t out of financial poverty, but out of emotional poverty. I could have skipped breakfast and stayed home. But I am very glad I didn’t. The sermon was exactly what I needed to hear and my son had a great time playing in the nursery. God took my little gift of effort and replenished my spirit with more than I could have asked for. And while it isn’t included in the story in the Gospels, I feel certain he did for the widow in that story as well.