We can change this reality
For me, one of the most difficult stories of Jesus’ life concerns Giving and Generosity.
On a day when Jesus was with his disciples (and probably others that were just hanging around them in a Jewish religious building), people were putting their money in the temple treasury. Numerous rich individuals went to the donation area and gave large amounts of money - some gave $100 bills and others $1,000 bills. By most, they were seen as the most generous of people and it is likely that many of them were very generous indeed. Nevertheless, after all of these rich people left their donations, an elderly woman, alone and bent over at the waist, only able to walk with her cane, came forward, dropping her two pennies into the collection box.
While the disciples and others watching shook their head, eyes cast down to the ground, feeling sorry for this poor woman and wondering what difference those two coins could make, Jesus says this,
“Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” - Luke 21: 3-4 (NRSV)
In the eyes of the disciples and all others like us, we sit there amazed by the great generosity of the wealthy that contribute out of abundance. But Jesus calls our attention to this woman, to the one living in poverty, and her willingness to give all she had to live on.
As a person living in great wealth in the world today (check the end of this to find some good links for the reality of poverty for most of humanity), I find myself on the side of the disciples and the crowds.
- Photos Reveal The Harsh Reality Of Someone Living In Extreme Poverty
- Global Goals. How To Adress Poverty
- 10 Shocking Realities of Modern Poverty
- 45 Surpirising Facts About Poverty You Probably Didn't Know
I can think of times I have joyfully celebrated the giving of large amounts of money while wondering what difference a small amount could make. Even more, I find myself struck to the core, possibly just like all those around the temple that day, when I hear Jesus’ words. Thus, I wonder, what must it have been about this woman that she could give so generously, even all she had to live on?
For me, the answer that explains it is this:
She knew all she had, even in her poverty, came from God. And so it was her privilege to give it.
May we, on this #GivingTuesday, have this type of generous heart, the heart that poor widow had some 2,000 years ago.