He said, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.”
I can picture the devotion on this generous widow’s face and hear the clinking of her couple coins as they drop in the box. I wonder what she was thinking as she slowly shuffled away. I wonder if she felt like I do and doubted the acceptableness of her offering and struggled with shame of its smallness, longing to have more to give.
I have never given my last cent as an impoverished widow, but I know what it’s like to give the last drops of faith, compassion, love or patience. You see, I am poor in these resources and when I give what little I have it seems I will be left destitute. And it never feels like enough.
Just this morning I emptied myself of every ounce of patience to disciple a struggling child. Fear crept in and I began to doubt I could do this, but finally the storm calmed. It was enough.
Last week as I cried myself to sleep I offered God my last handful of faith. It was so little after all He has invested in me and I ached with remorse that I did not have more, but He covered me with a blanket of peace and said it was enough.
Last year I emptied out my pockets and stashes and begged my children for all they had in order to help a destitute, crippled woman who had been abandoned by her husband and just gave birth. Due to the lack of medical care when she was burned, she lost a hand and had only one breast with which to nurse two premature babies. In desperation I held her close and prayed over her and the babies and then taught her how to make formula with what she had. I knew for certain my offering of compassion was not enough- she needed so much more then I could give, but it was enough to give her hope and keep them alive.
I have been frustrated that I can’t do more to help a new friend who is going through an intensely painful season; all I can give is a little bit of love and a listening ear. When I apologized for my lack, she smiled said it’s enough.
Not only has God been gracious towards my meager offerings, He often replaces what I give with more. When I exercise my minuscule faith, it’s stronger the next time. As I hand over my small store of love, my capacity grows to hold more. I have been drained and depleted of compassion a hundred times over, but when facing a human being in need, it wells back up. Not only is there always enough, I don’t need to fear running out. (This is an incredible Kingdom principal in a story about another widow for another time.)
Jesus, so pleased with this poor widow, highlighted her in front of a beautiful, lavish temple with lines of wealthy people giving extravagant offerings, praising her example and having it recorded for all of history. Her pennies did little for the treasury, but the humility in her heart and generosity of her spirit captivated her Lord’s attention. It was enough.
Because I am His, I am enough.