2008-11-20 - Two Mites
Originally Published 2004-01-01
Luke 21:1-4 And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. 3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: 4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had. (KJV)
Tuesday night I stopped on the way home for milk. I purchased that and a little something for the New Year's celebration - egg nog. I paid the cashier and he returned to me a small handful of change. There is a small container the store uses for a rotating list of worthy causes. I looked at the coins in my hand and poured them into the container and started to walk out. The man waiting on me was the Assistant Store Manager, and he said something that stopped me in my tracks. "Thank you."
I was surprised to say the least. It was a handful of coins. I blinked, nodded, waved, and walked out to my car. To be thanked for such a small gesture was unexpected. I saw two pennies in the change and that reminded me of the widow's two mites.
Now, I am hardly comparing my donated change to the widow's gift. There is a world of difference. It was all she had to live on. She had poured her next meal, very her life, into God's hands trusting that He would provide for her so that she could honor her Lord with her tithe. While my heart may have been in the right place, the widow had taken a step of faith that few of us would take. A former Choir Master once asked me why I hadn't been in church the weekend prior. I lived 95 miles away. I was up visiting relatives. I laughed a little and quipped something about two of three weekends was not too bad at that distance. "God first.", he said with a wry smile knowing he had made his point.
Now Gus did not expect me every week. He was happy to have my baritone when I could be there. But his life was impressive. He had donated his time to deinstall, transport, reinstall and rehabilitate a genuine wind-driven pipe organ. With his talents he could have been the Choir Master almost anywhere he wanted to be. He knew this little church was struggling and he was making a difference. He was where God wanted him to be. God first, true to his word.
Consider the unlikely heroes in your life as this year begins. I doubt the widow expected that anybody was watching or knew the depth of her tithe that day. We don't even know her name. But her story has been told and retold through the years. She is a hero. If you think you don't make a difference, think again.
Grace & Peace,