The Widow’s Might
“This widow has put in more than all the others.” – Luke 21: 3
She had lost so much. Or maybe she never had anything. We aren’t told. Was her impecunity new or permanent? What about her husband? Did she have hope that by giving Jesus something he could give her something? Did she blame herself for being poor?
As in improvisation or repertory, we enter what we don’t know and simply respond to her, making her look better, at each turn of the verse or conversation.
Luke was upper class. He added a clear female proactivity to his stories. He was – as Hal Taussig puts it – “cozy with the empire.” Like us, in improvisation or repertory or in interpretation, we put our story in the gospel’s story. So where is our mite in the widow’s might? How do we give our money to Jesus? At church? Maybe? At work? Maybe. In removing the boot of blame off the poor? In getting less cozy with the empire? In engaging the women without men? In making a deal with Jesus?
However, whichever, what if our mites became mighty?
Guide us in our use of money, O God.
Donna Schaper is Senior Minister at Judson Memorial Church in New York City. Her latest book is Approaching the End of Life: A Practical and Spiritual Guide.