Giving It All

The night air was chilly as she drew near the temple. As eager as she was to enter a warm building, her steps slowed as she approached it. She drew her thin shawl closer to her shivering shoulders, which didn’t help much against the constant wind. Her clothes were thin, her shoes worn. She clutched her tiny purse in both hands, as she heaved her frail body against the large temple doors, pushing to make them open. She entered the dark, open room. People, mostly dressed in warm, thick, royal rich clothing were scattered around the room. Some muttered prayers. Some proudly discarded heaps of money into the offering plate. One man sat near the edge of the room, only half in the light. He didn’t look threatening, though. In fact, he seemed to be a nice man, even from where he sat, quietly observing what was going on.

The woman quickly looked back down at her feet, afraid of the looks in people’s eyes as she got closer to them. What might she see? Disapproval? Disappointment? Scoff? Many names for herself swirled around in her head, so she forced her eyes to stare at her feet as she shyly shuffled towards the offering plate. Her hands shook as she slowly opened her small purse. Her face reddened from embarrassment as she slowly removed the two coins. She heard some snickering as she quickly dropped the two coins into the offering, and heard the clangclang as they hit the side, then rested on the heap of bills inside. Keeping her face downward, she slowly backed away from the offering plate, and then turned and left, knowing that she had done what she could.

*****

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” {Mark 12:41-44}

*****

I wonder what that woman felt as she stared into the offering plate. Did she think:

“I am not good enough…I can’t even put in half as much as these other people can…”?

Did she allow shame to rest in her heart as she released the two coins, allowing self-doubt and embarrassment to almost stop her from following God?

Whatever you’re struggling with this semester…shame of never feeling good enough, self-doubt and self-destructive thoughts “ruling” your life,… whatever it is! God can take the little that you have to offer, and bring out the good in it. He will get you through. He is proud of you, just as you are, without you needing to strive for perfection. He loves you right now, even if all you can see is your mess. He is waiting for you to discover the best version of you today, so that you can live a full, complete life! Don’t let those thoughts and worries and fears stop you from following Christ, and resting in Him and His strength! He is able.

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