And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41-44 NASB)
One thing that is striking about this passage is that Jesus makes a completely unexpected valuation. Bypassing the (relatively) large donations of those with disposable income, He highlights the poor, anonymous, insignificant person who gives sacrificially out of loving devotion – not out of ostentatious excess.
I love the fact that Jesus notices what matters. What folly for us to measure ourselves by our wallets! Jesus sees right through all that and gazes at the heart.
Here in Haiti, the poverty is immense. Yet there are many Haitian people who are cheerful and kind givers. And while those of us who come over from a first-world country are relatively wealthy, when you view the vast need, you truly feel like the poor widow, about to cast a penny into a vast landscape of brokenness.
We are all impoverished before God, especially in anything relating to spiritual life and genuine holiness. My comfort is, that in any place, any circumstance, we can take our tiny little donations of ourselves – poor as we are – and God will receive us. Not only in Haiti, but in any pathway we all find ourselves today.
May the poverty out of which we give lead to true riches for others.