Mark 12:42 "Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans."
Luke 21:2,4 "And He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said ĎTruly 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.í"
Miteóvery small copper coins.
Livelihoodómeans of living or supporting life.
Take a step back in time, if you will, to a land far ago. Can you smell the dry air? People are moving around busily. There is the upper crust of society, waltzing in with their flowing robes and faces full of smirk and scorn. There are also those who merely try to blend into society. They are neither rich nor poor. They are your average people. They are thankful to not be poor but longing for wealth. Then you have your poor. They stand out. Their clothes are tattered and worn. They are dirty and seem to cling to life like algae. Their lives revolve around traditions. Some wear their traditions as badges of honor; others view traditions as a simple part of life, the same as getting up and eating daily. Some view traditions has a lofty ambition that they cannot even strive or begin to work for.
Among this crowd there are the wealthy, known men giving their offerings. There are thirteen treasure boxes with horn shaped openings. As the wealthy drop their money, the "trumpets sound." Everyone in earshot can hear the loud thundering as the money goes in. I am sure the wealthy stand their, smug looks upon their faces. Picture them patting each other on the back, "Good week Thaddeus?" All are smiling as they walk off discussing their massive empires, their wealth sitting safely waiting to be wasted on frivolous and worldly things.
Now picture if you will a small, frail woman. She is very poor. I am sure her clothes are threadbare. I am sure, as with todayís society; if she is living in poverty, she does not have adequate medical care. In my mindís eye, I picture her somewhat slumped over, walking slowly. The wealthy smirk as they see her. They are so thankful not to be that woman. To be alive and vibrant is so much better. Slowly she pulls out two small coins. All she has really. She drops them in one of the thirteen treasure boxes. Her small coins simply roll down, no loud sounding, no people looking, no one really taking notice. But wait, one person did notice.
Jesus was standing there, a man who could have had the finest of finest in robes and clothing. He could have stood proudly, pounding His other wealthy advisors on the backs in a brotherly fashion. But instead, He stood there watching one frail old woman. He knew she had nothing else to give. She had no great wealth. She had simply two mites. Two very small copper coins. She could have kept one. She could have thought, what good would it do for God to have my two; surely He knows I have nothing. But instead, she gave not one but both of her mites. She gave gladly from her heart, knowing "every little bit counts." She gave regardless if the high priests were using the money wisely. She was not responsible for how the money was used, but she was responsible to her actions, her heart and how God wanted to use her. Maybe she never knew how important her simple action was. How some two thousand years later it would serve as a reminder to our very own existence.
When I think of the widow woman, I wonder what type of woman was she? She was willing to give so much of herself that she gave her last two mites to serve Godís will. I feel bold enough to believe she was able to do that with her life. I feel assured her neighbors and her friends knew they could count on her in times of need. She may not have been able to help them in times of need with monetary donations, but Iím sure she was there willing to give a helping hand, a shoulder to cry on, or her undivided attention to listen with.
What about us? Are we willing to give our last two mites? When you hear of a family in need, do you pull out your thrift store money to help them out? Do you offer to come over and help in any way possible? Do you listen to them and offer a place of comfort in a time of need? Or are you like those priests? When giving, do you do so loudly? "Hey look at me!" you cry as you write out that check. Do you smile proudly as you attend charity events and balls? I am not saying those things are wrong, but what about when you are alone and a hurt friend calls. Do you put your life on hold in order to listen to her? Or do you cut her off and offer to call her back at a time more convenient for yourself? What about that hungry person you see on the street? Do you give them your last five dollars or do you assume they just donít want to work? Do you ignore Godís call on your heart as He asks you to reach out of your comfort zone and to give your mites to His cause?
Sometimes these actions may seem small, such as striking up a conversation with that annoying person at a social event. Maybe it is something as simple as taking over a gift basket for that bedridden patient who would appreciate something new to read. Granted no one will be there to see you and it will be between you and God, but honestly what do you believe glorifies God more? Is it the sounding of trumpets or the silent sound that two mites make as they slowly roll down a treasury box?