“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. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 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
Oh woman, did you even know that your two cents mattered?
Once again Jesus has all but stopped my heart with who He is. He sat down to watch and then with His crazy, upside down kind of love He showed her off to His disciples. Showed off the one who gave the least, while others were giving the most. God made much of a poor woman and her pennies.
We all feel poor with no more than pennies, really.
(But if grace were pennies we could buy the world.)
And here is what I want to know. When she opened her hand and let her pennies fall, did she know it mattered?
And it led me to the real question hidden in my heart.
And so for days this widow with her pennies has been following me around until I finally saw what He wanted me to see. I saw Him sit down to watch, and I saw that it was the giving of all she had that moved His heart.
And I knew my heart had been asking the wrong question. It is not ‘do I matter?’.
What matters to You?
It is the giving of everything, everything I have to live on. That matters to Him. That moves Him. When all I have is two pennies of hope at the moment, I can give it away and move the heart of God.
Because I get poor on hope sometimes, don’t you?
I can be so very poverty stricken on patience, on love. ”…but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Every drop we pour out from our places of poverty matters to Him.
Every word written in the middle of the night because all we have are these words. Words that leave us vulnerable and exposed, and when we are done it feels like all we’ve given is two cents, buried under the wealth that others have given. But because it was all we had and we offered it up, it mattered to Him.
(I have to believe the words matter to Him, or they don’t matter at all.)
I may not move you. And if I matter to you, believe me I am grateful. But I have to wrestle that need to the ground and pin it tight.
Because what matters to Him has to matter more. Moving His heart must consume me more than moving yours.
Her pennies made no difference in anyone’s life, but they were all she had so she gave them up and it moved Jesus.
And it reminds me of another woman.
“A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
…Then He turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss,but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.” Luke 7:37-48
Tears and perfume. Her love and her worship. It made no difference to anyone there, but it was all she had to give, so she gave it, and it moved His heart.
More than I want to matter, I want to move His heart.
Sometimes that’s all we have to give, isn’t it? Our love and our worship, coming out of imperfect, messy lives. Lives that matter to Him. Lives that make a difference because He is with us in the offering of our poverty. Whether we see it or not, feel it or not, our lives do matter. We matter. The enemy may tell us otherwise, but he is lying and he knows it. Because he was there that day.
He knows Jesus didn’t die for something that didn’t matter.