There’s this story in the Bible about a time that Jesus was in the temple and sat opposite of the place that offerings (tithes, donations, etc.) were given. Now, picture this with me for a second… Jesus, the man who had come and been warning people (in the passage before) about the teachers of the Law – everything that they based their lives off of, comes and plops himself opposite of the place where people were giving their money.
I can’t imagine that it was done with any malicious intent but with the intent of finding someone or something to show to the people of what true, God honoring, giving looks like. He is sitting there, hanging out, possibly praying that God would bring the right person along as an example. All the while, I’m sure that Jesus keeps seeing the wealthiest of all the people in the temple giving the bare minimum of what they were told they needed to give back to the Lord. I’m sure every once in a while you could hear a sigh coming from the corner that Jesus was sitting in too, not because He was bored, but because He was broken over the fact that these people weren’t living in the sacrificial way that He was calling them to. Then Jesus probably saw some of the wealthy people tossing large sums of money into, what I imagine to be a wooden box, showing others with grand gestures how much they could afford to give. With that being said, I could picture a cringe coming across Jesus’ face, thankful they gave but saddened by where their hearts were when they were giving.
Then it happened.
A poor, almost on her last legs, woman who recently (or not so recently) lost her husband to death… This is one of the most devastating circumstances any one person can go through in their entire life. But she still came with all that she had: two copper coins. When I imagine this happening, this woman probably came with a deep, heavy shame that this was all that she had to give. I can imagine her coming with a cloak over her face so that people couldn’t recognize her. I picture her in clothes that are dirty, old, ragged and possibly smelling like they needed to be washed down by the cleansing pool outside of the city gates… But she came any way, sadness of heart and all. She gave everything that she had to give. This widow knew that this is what she was called to do and she sacrificially gave everything not knowing when her next meal would be. Or how long it would take for her to beg her way back to being able to give again.
Can you imagine the Lord’s delight?! Can you feel his heart soar at the image of that woman giving so little and it meaning so much?! He calls to his disciples to come over and tells them, “‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”’ (Matt. 12:43 & 44 NIV) I can hear Jesus saying this in a voice of a proud Papa, “That’s MY girl! She is the one who gets it! I am so proud of her sacrifices!” I can see the smile on His face and I can hear his heart racing, palms sweating, as He experienced what God had brought Him here to see in that very moment. I can see even our Lord and Savior’s heart being ministered to in that very moment.
This story of the Widow’s Mite has been ringing in my heart and mind through the past week or so. THIS woman’s face, burned to my memory. But not just her face – your faces… Those of you who have given when there really was nothing to give. Those of you whose hearts are beating fast with the thought that this will cut into your grocery budget this week. YOU are the faces burned onto my brain and my heart. YOU are the ones who make me see what God has brought me here to see in this very moment.
I keep getting people who are donating to our adoption with the statement of “I know it’s not much, but we want to help” or “I wish I could give more, I know this won’t do much, but it’s all we can do to bring your kids home”.
But can you imagine with me one more time? Picture Jesus sitting across from you as you hmmm and haw over what to do in this situation. Imagine His smile and His joy-filled heart as you give even those $5.00. Think about him saying ‘‘’Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matt. 25:40 NIV). Look into my face, see the tears of joy that flow quickly and freely as I write this and think of our kids who have, what we would consider to be, nothing. And search the depths of God’s heart for you and hear Him saying, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” (Matt. 25:21 NIV).
So thank you. Thank you for giving freely. Thank you for making all of the difference in the world. Thank you for trusting that God will provide for you. And thank you for loving like our God has – sacrificially and bravely. My heart is full because of your grace and faithfulness. And more than that, that $5.00 or $100.00 that you have given is working hard to bring our kids home. If you have shared our fundraisers with your friends I have been shaken (in a good way) by your kindness in spreading the word about trying to adopt two kids. And those prayers that you have offered up to help us bring our kids home, they literally rock my heart in ways that you could not even begin to imagine. Thank you for that.
The one thought that I have to offer to all of this is, please don’t ever second guess what you have given. Even if you have sacrificed all that you have in two copper coins, I can imagine Jesus pointing you out and saying “They get it! I am SO proud of my children for giving as sacrificially as they have!”