Reading devotions in the book of Mark, I recently came across the story of Jesus and the widow with two coins:
Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
(Mark 12:41-44, NLT)
To this day, this remains one of my favourite stories of Jesus. His level of love and compassion is beautiful to behold. He sees the world not only from the outside, but also from the inside.
The fact that He saw the widow’s gift and praised it more highly than “larger” gifts says something to me. It says that He looks at the heart. It says that there is hope for me, too. My tiny gifts—those small, precious things I bring to my Saviour—will also not be scorned. He will look at my offerings and know they’re the best I’ve got. They may not be much compared with other people’s, but with Jesus, comparisons don’t matter. My best is my best, and His heart is filled with joy when that’s what I give Him.
I recently read a line on the Internet that’s stuck with me. It was talking about Christmas presents, and how those coupon books (e.g., 1 free hug, 1 making dinner, 1 cleaning the dishes) might have been the only thing of value that we, as kids, could have offered to our parents. But these things were precious to our parents because of the heart behind them.
That same love and tenderness is what I read into the story with Jesus and the widow. What a wonder and privilege to know that He values my crumbs so deeply. They are not leftovers. They are my best. And they are for Him.