38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.
Mark 12:43-44 (NIV)
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
We see a big contrast between these two groups. One group hungers for respect and prominence. The other's only care is to help others. Interestingly enough, the one who cared here was the poor one!
There is something unique about the poor. When they give, even though their offering might be labeled “insignificant” according to the world’s standards, they give way more than the ones who live quite comfortably. God sees that and acknowledges them. These are the ones God remembers!
These poor also accomplish things that the ones who live comfortably may never even consider. Take, for example, Laura Ingersoll Secord, a poor woman who lived in Queenston, Ontario, Canada. Early on in the war of 1812, her husband, James, had been wounded in the battle of Queenston Heights and was rescued by his wife, his heroine.
The following summer, on June 21, 1813, Laura overheard that the enemy was planning a surprise attack at Beaverdams. Someone had to warn the garrison located there, and the next morning, Laura set out on a twenty mile trek to warn that military base, taking a roundabout path to avoid encountering enemy soldiers.
Through fields and woods, she followed the general course of Twelve Mile Creek. That evening she unexpectedly encountered an Indian encampment and fear filled her. The chief however, listened to what she had overheard from the enemy, and he took her directly to the officer in charge of the garrison in Beaverdams, Lieutenant James Fitzgibbon.
Two days later the enemy attack wasn’t a surprise, as they were the ones ambushed by 400 Indians and Fitzgibbon’s 50 men. 462 enemy soldiers surrendered, all thanks to the information that Laura had brought to the garrison.
Interestingly however, no mention of Laura Secord was made in the official report. Only when she was 85-years-old did the Prince of Wales (Future Edward VII) learn about the heroic twenty mile trek performed by Laura Secord. She became a heroine overnight, and she even had a famous brand of chocolate named after her. And all that because she never hesitated to leave her poor home and trek through enemy territory to warn the troops.
We, the comfortable ones can make an impact on society as well, if we so wish. Imagine what would happen if, instead of giving the minimum, we started to give much, much more. Imagine the consequences on our society! Poverty would become nonexistent, and all that because we love our neighbors as Jesus tells us to. The world would be revolutionized. It’s within our power, but something holds us back. As long as we sit on the fence, this revolution of love will never occur. May we go beyond sitting on the fence and bless humanity just like that poor woman that attracted Jesus’ attention. We, too, can go out of our way to make a difference, if we so wish.
Dear Lord, help us be willing to give of what You have given to us to show Your love to the world around us that so desperately needs it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.