And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, "Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all, for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had." Luke 21:1-4
I am not a Bible scholar, so I hesitate at times to throw my interpretations out there. However, this passage has crossed my path enough times the last few weeks, that I have begun to dwell on it a bit more and ponder its meaning. I believe that it could be interpreted different ways, and maybe even at different times in life, stand out with different significance.
But, I find it to hold value in 2 different aspects in relation to my life at this time.
First of all, as I am on a faith journey right now in my pursuit of going on the mission trip to Colombia, this story crossed my mind a few times. No gift is too small. Anything that anyone has given towards my trip matters. I have had some say to me "I'm so sorry it's not more..." And my response is, " Are you kidding me? It means more than anything to me just to have your support, so a financial gift on top of that is God's confirmation and a huge blessing to me."
I have watched God provide in amazing ways through this time, as I have vested hours in prayer towards this adventure. But the gifts people give touch me every time. I think of this story of the widow who, to an unwise eye, may have thought "that's all she is giving??" But God saw and knew what a sacrifice it was. God saw her heart. And it was recorded to teach all of us for years to come. I should never be surprised by God. When we seek Him with our whole heart, He provides. And yet, I am constantly amazed at the sacrifices I see many make, as they contribute towards my trip to Colombia. I want to go to be His hands and feet, to be used by Him. To use my passion for Spanish. To love on others. And, to be transformed myself. But, I am finding every single person walking this trip with me, be it in prayer or in financial giving, is just as much His hands and feet. Each one of (you) are like the widow. Giving selflessly.... for His good. And their sacrifices touch me every time.
There is a secondary way I have begun to look at this story. (Again, please note, I am no scholar here, so this is my interpretation and how God is working on me using this story, maybe not how any other person who has dedicatedly studied the passage would say it is meant.)
The widow has no name. She may not even have known her story would be recorded for everyone to know. If I had to guess, she probably didn't even know anyone was really watching her. She may have been embarrassed by what little she had to offer to put in that money giving, considering the rich who were around her. But she gave it all, and it mattered.
As much as the story is about money, I have begun to see it in other ways. I have many times said that what I am doing in life doesn't really matter. That I am just a nobody. That my role is not important. If we are honest, we probably all struggle with that on some level. But what God has begun showing me through this story is that anything we do for His glory and with the right intentions, matters. No action is too small.
A written card. The hugs given. The kind words said. Maybe just being there, and not saying anything at all. Doing tasks happily, no matter how small, with no desire for recognition. Praying for someone. Being a true friend. Making a meal. Giving someone a ride.
The list could go on of tasks that we often think nothing of, but just like God saw the widow give her all with her money, He sees what we do, too. Nothing goes unnoticed. Nothing has a lack of value. Every little thing counts.
So, when I think of this story, I am grateful for those who give sacrificially to my upcoming work in Colombia. But I also am challenged to remember that what I am doing for His kingdom, even if I think it is nothing, makes a difference. The widow didn't have her name written in the Bible. But God knew who she was. He knew the sacrifice she made to give.
And He knows the same for you. and for me. And really, what He knows is what matters.
Do not discount anything you do... whether it's a financial gift or an act of love. Every action matters.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40