About two thousand years ago, in Judea, there was a woman who, in everyone’s eyes, did not have much. She was a poor widow, who probably did not have a family, and depended on the generosity of others to survive. On the social scale, she was way down at the bottom, next to the excluded and helpless.
One day, she went to the beautiful Temple that was built for the Lord in the city of Jerusalem. Unnoticed among the crowd, she climbed the stairs, entered the great hall and went to the treasury box. There, among rich and important people, she deposited her offering to God. An insignificant offering in the eyes of those who witnessed this scene – only two small coins of little value – but this was all she had and would guarantee her some food for the day.
What she did not know is that the Lord Himself was right beside her. He loved and wanted to honor her. The Lord Jesus watched her in silence, marveling at her gesture of surrender, trust, and love. She was giving Him everything she had. Those two coins represented her life before God. Like a child who wholeheartedly trusts her father, she threw herself into His arms, without fear, without questioning her future, regardless of what her precarious situation said about her. She only wanted to declare that God was in first place and that there was nothing in this world greater or more important than Him, not even her very existence. She placed her life in that box and became God’s very own treasure; she gave a perfect sacrifice.
The Lord Jesus’ immediate reaction was to honor her in front of everyone. It was His only option; He could not react in any other way. She left Him no other choice. In her poverty, she gave much more to God than the large sums of money that others deposited. They gave God what they had left over, which would not make any difference to them. Though the sums were high, their offerings expressed to God that they did not trust Him. But the widow’s offering proved that she trusted Him. I doubt that she continued living in poverty or needy after this, because the Lord Jesus could not ignore such a sacrifice. He exalted her in front of His disciples and certainly continued to sustain her after, according to His promise to honor those who honor Him.
The widow’s offering, though small in a material sense, caught the attention of God, because He was not there waiting to receive money, but the lives of those people. True wealth is not found in the monetary amount of an offering, but in what that offering represents. The other people’s offerings represented very little, if anything at all, to God. It was money, and money has no value. On the other hand, the widow showed that her heart was not in what she possessed. Regardless of how needy she was, her heart was in God, on the Altar.
This is the Spirit of the Universal Church, total surrender to God. A Spirit that moves us to place our dependence and hope on Him, without looking to the side, without paying attention to the circumstances, without listening to the voice of the world – for the world hates true sacrifice –, without ever seeing ourselves as victims of a situation. And just as the Lord rejoiced and honored the poor widow, He will rejoice and honor those who truly put Him above everything else in their lives.