After bible study last week, I decided to treat myself to lunch out. I was so excited — the bar’s very low. Our food supply at home was sad — yogurt, a corn tortilla, and leftover quinoa were the choices waiting for me. So, I was going to pop into Staples, then buy something yummy to take home and enjoy.
A woman asking for a donation got to me first. She was soliciting money for a drug recovery house and sharing that she was 160 days sober from heroin. My first thought was, Rats! My second thought was, Sure. Deciding that yogurt and a corn tortilla were good enough, I gave her $5.00.
Bible study that morning had been about the woman at the temple with the two coins. Of course it was. And here God was giving me a perfect opportunity to practice what I had just preached. Love when that happens; hate when that happens.
In Mark 12, an anonymous woman had come to the temple with two coins. Her two coins were worth less than our penny. Less than our penny! But she had left her home, walked to the temple, and made her way through the crowds of rich people all for the purpose of putting her two coins into the trumpet box for the needy. (I hope the irony is not lost on you.) Desperate not to be noticed, this poor widow quietly slipped her coins into the box for the needy.
Sitting against the opposite wall, however, was the One who sees. The One who sees the one in the crowd. The One who sees the quiet one, the embarrassed one, the poor one, the husband-less one. Among all the glamour and glitz and money and fame, He saw the one. Among all the flash and pomp and noise and theater, He saw her. He saw what she gave and how she gave it and it blessed Him.
Kindred spirits, maybe. She was destitute and without honor and in a few days, Jesus would be too, hanging on a cross. Both were giving their all to God.
The bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 that God loves a cheerful giver.
But are we to wait to give until we become cheerful? (Was the poor woman cheerful as she put in all she had? Was Jesus, as He hung broken, bleeding, dying?)
If I waited to give until I was cheerful, I’d be waiting a verrrrrrrry long time. If we all waited to give until we were glad to be giving, churches and ministries all over the world would close up shop.
The Bible does say that God loves a cheerful giver. But I wonder if, although He loves it when we give cheerfully, God still wants us to give even when we’re grumpy or poor or confused. I was’t particularly happy giving the woman in the parking lot my lunch money, but I know that it was the right thing to do. So I did it, trusting that cheerful feelings will follow . . . maybe . . . someday . . . hopefully.
We’ve heard it said, FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT. Let’s decide today to fake it till we become it.
Fake it till we become it.
Give grumpy, but keep giving until you become cheerful.
And might I suggest that you don’t always need to pray about it first? (That was hard to write. Was that hard to read?)
“And Jesus saw a poor widow come and put in all she had,
more than all the contributors to the treasury, out of her poverty,
everything she had, what she couldn’t afford,
her whole livelihood and He was blessed.”
– Mark 12:44