People who have lost a loved one face a kind of poverty — a happiness deficit, if you will. It amazes me when someone with every reason to despair chooses to live joyfully, instead.
This story of “The Widow’s Mite”, as it is known, could easily be retitled, “The Widow’s Might”.
A mite is a pittance. A copper coin you might not even stoop over to pick up. A coin both inconsequential and irrelevant for the temple’s offering. Heck, I’m in favor of altogether eliminating the pesky penny from our currency. Wouldn’t it be nice to never have to count out those tiny coins of even tinier importance?
Jesus observes an impoverished woman dropping two mites into the collection for the Temple. While others might have been paying attention to wealthier, flashier givers, he zeroes in on the person who is giving out of her poverty. In spite of everything, she has chosen to live mightily, with hope.
The story reminds me to offer a shout out to all the widows and widowers out there. You probably know some. Or maybe you are one. Christmas time can be especially hard for those who have lost a beloved spouse. Anyone who’s missing a loved one can tell you that making merry is not as easy as it sounds when there’s a gaping hole where a special person once lived.
Jesus seems to see something powerful within this woman. He sees someone who has chosen to live sacrificially. Do all widows live up to the deep faith of this widow? Probably not. And that’s okay. Jesus loves us in our weakened moments as well as our strong ones. But those who choose to give and experience joy during this season, despite their very real pain are among the mightiest people I know.
We are all widows and widowers in some way. Every person experiences loss in this life, and those losses can certainly add up during Advent. Many of us have a “happiness deficit” we must overcome. Cheers to us when we choose the hopeful life, the life we choose to give away unselfishly, following day by day in the footsteps of Christ.
The widow’s might came from her deep faith put into action. May we all be so faithful, and may this Christmas season offer us a reminder of just how joyful our sometimes difficult lives can be.
Just my two cents worth.
Have a great Advent,