Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” Mark 12:41-44
The Widow and the two mites retold:
She arose from sleep and pulled the warm blankets off of her to start her day while it was yet still dark. Her aching bones protest so she begins rubbing them, bending them to encouraging them to participate with her. They pained her so, but she paid no mind to them for today was a very special day, she was going to the Temple. She loved the days when she made the journey there though it not too often, they were the days she most remembers over the year. Though she would not be able to enter in to listen to the writings be spoken she would always hope to hear discussions going on among the people on the outside. Though she speaks very little in these discussions, she has learned a great deal in these times. In the few occasions she is asked what her thoughts are she would feel in her heart Gods warmth stirring in her to bubble up out of her mouth to speak, and the faces of them who listened to her would be amazed for they were not expecting such understanding and knowledge she revealed! Her husband has long since passed and she is quite used to living on her own, though it difficult some days, she has learned to go to bed hungry with a grateful heart, for she knows that as she meditates on the words written they bring her great delight and satisfaction and she no longer thinks of her empty belly. Just last night she sat at her table, singing songs to her God with all she had filling the time that would have been for eating her evening meal. They never did have children, she long since made peace with this and has counted herself blessed because she has been able to be mother to many who have needed one. Though she does not have much, she always seemed to have something that she could share will any who were in need. She would treat each one as her own child, with love and kindness. She would tell them of her God and how He is her provider, as well as what He has instructed all who are His children to be and do. For those who came into her home she poured into them all she had to give and they were like sickly birds with their mouths open wide to be fed, their hungry souls, and when they left her haven it was like they were given special direction (just for them) and a love and reverence for God they never had.
She is all packed, for the night before she had put her things together so there would be no need to waste any time in the morning. It would take close to half a day to walk, for the young it would take much less as it once did for her, but now she must respect her old body and walk in the pace that is comfortable for her. Though she is coming to terms with the understanding that this may be her last time, for it is becoming increasingly hard. But for today, she thinks it nothing of the discomfort that lies ahead in comparison to the joy she has in visiting the Holy Temple. She wraps up her last piece of bread that she specially saved for this day, for she would need the nourishment it will give her. She will eat half today, and the rest tomorrow on her way home. She is so thankful to have her lifelong friend who lives in the city and where she will stay overnight. They always have so much to catch up on and she so enjoys the bond they formed in how they share their love for God. This alone gives her strength to persevere in her long arduous trek ahead. She leaves while the small village is still fast asleep and listens to the orchestra of crickets singing they too have joy in them she muses and smiles. She has made it her habit to greet all she comes in contact with along the way, and this always adds to her journey extra time spent, but one nevertheless important to her. She offers them her blessing and goes on her way and in doing so it always seems to make her journey shorter for in no time she is at her halfway mark where she will rest and put her feet up and eat her first meal in a long while. It is a place where many travelers stop to rest and she enjoys sitting with the different people and families. She always speaks words to them that encourage them, and they leave with a renewed strength and sense of purpose. For the old woman was becoming known and some would hope she would be there when they made their stop just so they could hear her cheerful stories, her insightful truths and personal counsel she may have for them. This time, there was only one person who sat resting. He was a young man who had been traveling for days, he was going back to his home town, as his parents were no longer alive and only his sister was left. He got word that she was in desperate need of help for her betrothed had suddenly died and she was all alone. He would go get her and she would live under his roof. As she sat with him she listened to him intently and gave her usual wise counsel and she noticed that he was not eating. She realized that he had run out of his provision and had not eaten for a couple of days. She opened up her carefully wrapped bread and asked him if he would like to eat it as she had eaten enough already and would like to share the rest with him. He did not let on to her that he had no food, for he was ashamed to admit that he just did not think that far ahead and that the journey would have taken so long. He was so glad that she offered and he gratefully accepted her kindness to him. They talked a little bit more and then both said their good byes and left their separate ways. She looked up into heaven and thanked the Lord for this man and his love and kindness he has for his sister and began slowly walking to continue her journey. She was hungry but she refused to let her mind think about this and instead looked at the beauty around her drinking this in as her food, for as she walked she truly saw that God is the greatest artist there ever was. In the last few miles a caravan of traders came by and one kind man and his wife offered her a ride on their cart to which she accepted with many thanks, they gave her a portion of their meal and some drink. God is good to her she quietly worships Him as she eats. She had not realized how tired she was, and fell asleep and the next thing she knew the kind couple were gently rousing her for they had reached their destination. She jumped up and apologized for being such poor company, blessed them and they parted ways. She could see the Temple now and she sped her pace in her excitement. She thinks back to when her husband would recite portions of Isaiah to her, she marveled at his love and memory for what he heard in his visits to the Temple. He would sit under the teachers and be like a sponge to drink in what was being read and then recite to her the precious words. She misses those days where she had the written word in such measure, now she must find men she esteems to be God fearing and who will share with her the wealth of the riches they receive – which is becoming sparse for her as she is often dismissed and forgotten about. She is so very thankful that she has memorized the words of Isaiah long ago, for in her early widowhood, they were words that filled her with such hope and joy and even today her heart skips a beat when she meditates on them: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” Oh how many times she recited these words. She awaits Him who will bring deliverance to her and her people. Now approaching the outer court she notices that today it seems something special is going on, she can feel it. She looks around and sees a small crowd and a man speaking to them. She can’t help to overhear his words, for they are very clear and with such authority, is he a new teacher she wonders? She hears these words: “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.” She could not help but to gasp for He has spoken out what she already knew in her heart but dared not speak it. How many times she came here and saw these certain men taking what was not theirs to take. She saw with her own eyes the greed they walked in as she watched her good friend who has since died, give to these men her entire estate because they told her that their prayers for her were worth all the money in the world! She was going through such difficulty when her husband passed, and just seemed to not be able to adjust. How many times she tried to counsel her in the way of God and what she knew Him to be for the poor and lonely for her own life would testify this, but her friend would have none of it, she wanted what these men promised her. Once she signed over her home, she was forced to leave and died not long after. And here this man is speaking words and in her heart she rejoiced for there was something about Him that she is drawn to that awakens her heart. The commotion got to be too much and she was crowded out and so she turned and thought it be a good time for her to give her offerings. She put her hand in her secret pocket she had specially sewn to hold her coins. She did not feel them and suddenly alarm gripped her as she began to pat in all her clothes looking in case it may have slipped out. Nothing. She sat down on the bricks nearby and began to recollect the last hours. After calming her mind, she was able to remember that she had intended to put the coins in her secret pocket but got distracted and never did and they were in her travel bag, where she had last placed them. She was relieved to remember this but scorned herself for being so careless. She reached in her bag and was so glad to pull out her last two mites. She had set them aside for this time and was so glad she did. She did not think about the fact that they were all she had, she looked at it as being her privilege to give all she has and that she has something to give. For her joy is to give to the things of God and would have it no other way. She waits for the two men ahead of her counting out loud their generous gift and then they slowly were dropping it into the treasury. It is her turn she places her two mites in and turns to leave and is met with indignant stares from the two previous donors, her head drops as she realizes that what she has given really won’t count for much and is ashamed of her lack and quickly walks away. She gathers her things and does not linger as usual, for she feels the need to just leave this place. She thinks it strange as she has prepared and looked forward for this visit for a good while, but in light of her last few moments she agrees that it is time to leave.
She is saddened in heart, as she walks away she is lost in her thoughts when she is gently tapped on her shoulder, She looks up, and it is that man she heard! She lifts her eyes to His eyes and He speaks these words to her, ‘Woman, do not be discouraged for your heart is before My Father in heaven! What you have given He has received and is very pleased. For you have given him what most know nothing of, and that is out of your need. You have shown Him what it is you treasure and He receives your worship. He takes great joy and delight in all who give out of their need, where it will cost them. He sees that you are hungry and that you lack in many things but in this you are very rich in His love. Be at peace for you are counted as blessed.’ She begins to weep, and as He wipes away her tears, she feels her body stand straighter than ever before and the pain she had is no longer. Today she has been touched by the Hand of God and He takes her hand and they walk together and He continues to speak, this time He tells of how the temple will be destroyed, and then raised again in 3 days! She understands that He is speaking of something far deeper than it appears and continues to listen intently to His every word.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matt 6:21