"As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on" (Luke 21:1-4).
For some unknown reason, this interaction with Jesus keeps on coming back to my mind this week. As I read through it and reflect on it, I realize that there is alot that we do not know. However, it is what I am able to see that gives me encouragement in the Lord and strength for each day.
I see Jesus, and I see that he looked up. In the previous chapter he was in an intense conversation with his disciples and the teachers of the law, being bombarded with all sorts of questions and challenges. Deep in thought and talk, Jesus looked up and He saw.
He saw the rich and He saw a woman. We read that she was poor and she was a widow. We can assume that she was walking through a dark time in her life. Suffering surrounded her and I imagine that in more ways than one, she had very little reserve.
We know that she went to the temple and she gave all that she could. She got up in the morning, got dressed (I'm assuming) and gave.
And again, Jesus saw her. He not only saw her, but He acknowledged her actions. He knew her circumstance and He knew what she was choosing to do in it.
So, dear reader, how can these four simple verses, describing a minute detail in the greatest story of all time, encourage us? What do we see of Jesus and of ourselves?
First of all, we can get up each day. Maybe we are suffering in a same or different way. If we are not poor or a widow, we may be experiencing other sorts of poverty in our circumstances. We may be worn down with weariness or stretched thin by demands or flat on our backs with desperation, but we can make the choice to get up, get dressed and go about what God is calling us to.
Secondly, we can give what we have to the Lord. When we are walking through a trial, we may not feel as if we have alot to give. We may be too tired, too poor in spirit, too dry to come up with much, but we can give to our Jesus what we have. It may not be much, but God knows. We can give Him our desires, our wills, our dreams, our hopes, our gifts, our hearts. Even if we do not have much to give, we can give to Jesus and trust Him to care for it.
Lastly, I am strengthened and encouraged by the fact that Jesus sees. He looked up and saw the rich and He saw the poor, and He sees us, too. This is the most important part to me. Jesus didn't have to engage in a conversation about the poor widow. He was busy with other issues, but He did.
And, dear reader, He sees you and me, too. When we are feeling full of our fears or swallowed up by our suffering, He sees. He turns His gentle and tender face towards us and cares for us. He knows what we are dealing with and He knows what we do with it. We can believe that He is mercifully and intently watching over us.
Like the widow, rise up and give what little bit that you can, dear reader, to the One who loves you and sees you. You just never know how He may use you.