He [Jesus] looked up and saw the rich dropping their offerings into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow dropping in two tiny coins. “I tell you the truth,” He said. “This poor widow has put in more than all of them. For all these people have put in gifts out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-3 HCSB
I sat in the little African house, sweating. The rainforest sent bugs through the open windows to crawl on the walls, painted a nauseating shade of hospital green.
My host arrived, smiling, to get the room ready for the church service. His home was one of the largest in the village, and so there we gathered. I was early by African standards, (on time by American), so I was the only one there.
I watched him, puzzled. He carried several of his wife’s skirts – which were really just lengths of fabric in eye-popping prints. He pushed a chair up to a wall, stood on it, pulled a roll of duct tape out of his pocket, and taped up the material. He drug the chair around the room to hang all the skirts, sometimes scrunching the fabric into butterfly patterns, sometimes draping it artfully, always securing it with the grey duct tape.
Really? He thought that made the place look better? I wanted to roll my American eyes. But what irritated me the most was the duct tape. This guy didn’t make more than $10 a week, and duct tape cost two or three dollars in the market. He was wasting his money.
Instantly, the Holy Spirit convicted me, as sharply as He’s ever spoken to my heart.
You are witnessing the widow’s mite, and I am very pleased.
My host was beautifying his home as an act of worship, and quite suddenly, the most stunning of stained glass windows were not as lovely as that duct-taped fabric. Cathedrals have been built by the surplus riches of the elite, but this humble farmer outdid them all.
I may have more in my bank account than that man will ever see, but that day, he gathered riches in heaven untold.