When A Poor Widow Gives Her ALL.
Remember the widow that Jesus directs the attention of the disciples toward in Luke 21. The Expanded version of the Bible puts it this way:
”As Jesus looked up, he saw some rich people putting their gifts into the Temple ·money box [or treasury; Cone of thirteen trumpet-shaped receptacles used to collect offerings]. 2Then he saw a poor widow putting two small copper coins [CGreek: lepta; worth only 1/128 of a denarius, the daily wage of a worker] into the box. 3He said,“I tell you the truth, this poor widow gave more than all those rich people. 4[LFor] They gave ·only what they did not need [out of their surplus/abundance]. ·This woman is very poor, but she gave [LBut she, out of her poverty, gave] all she had to live on.” Luke 21
She gave all that she had as an offering and has become an example both to those early disciples as well as to all generations of Jesus’ followers ever since of what it truly means to be generous, sacrificial and extravagant in how we give back to God.
I’d like for you to meet another widow who is teaching me a lot – and whom I believe can teach others a lot, too.
She is very poor and is now, by God’s grace, making $36 USD per month. We will call her Mariye (not her real name). Of course on this small amount of money, she struggles to make ends meet as she pays $12 in rent for a mud home the size of a small Western bathroom and then lives off of $24 USD per month. It doesn’t go far. By the way, she is working a full time job as a security guard to make this amount.
She and her almost 2 year old son live off of this month after month.
However, when hardship hit her family she stepped in even with no reserves herself. Her uncle and her aunt passed away leaving their son behind. So, Mariye took in her young teenage cousin and he lives with her – she providing for him and making him her son.
Then hardship struck a second time. Some time ago, her sister decided that she no longer wanted to mother her child as a single mother and was planning to abandon the child. So, Mariye stepped in and said she would make her sister’s son her own. Now, that son is 9 years old and Mariye is mother to him as well.
Culturally, there is very little room for taking care of someone else’s child. If you do bring them into your home you might make them a household servant or treat them as less than your own children. Yet, not so in Mariye’s case.
Out of her poverty she is daily giving all that she has. She is providing for her son as well as two former orphans, who are orphans no more. She becomes an example to all of us of what true selfless, sacrificial living really looks like.
A poor widow caring for orphans. Maybe she’s not so poor after all in the places where it truly matters.
We are grateful that Embracing Hope has the privilege of partnering with Mariye and her family – playing a small part in blessing a woman with a huge heart that is a beacon to her culture of what love looks like.