Day 3 of Lent: Friday – Sharing in Gratitude
Verse for reflection: “I tell you the truth, 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 12:43-44.
Twenty-seven years ago this week, our youngest daughter was born. Four days before that, we were in the emergency room because our two-year-old had a seizure. And ten days later, the new baby was back in the hospital with jaundice. (You can see them both below, including signs of jaundice.)
Of course our problems were minor compared to many people. Yet all of this on top of new-mother-exhaustion plus caring for my two preschoolers, left me with few coping resources, frequently near the edge of tears. The hospital bills also meant extra expenses.
A dear older woman from church volunteered to babysit so I could take the middle child back to the doctor for tests related to her seizure (turned out to be fever-related). But when I picked the other two children up, Connie stuffed an envelope into our diaper bag saying, “Someone left this for you.”
When I was in the car with all three kids strapped in, I couldn’t wait to see what was in the envelope. It was a crisp $100 bill. You can imagine the tears, flowing so freely I could barely drive. Who and why?
Most of us have been recipients of someone’s generosity at one time or another. The widow mentioned in the Mark passage speaks to us this Lent: if the widow put in everything she had to live on, what is God saying to me? How could I stretch to sacrifice for someone else? I may never be able to repay the gift of whoever slipped us that $100 bill, but I can repay it to others. I haven’t come close to putting in everything like the widow, but remembering how we’ve been blessed helps me be more generous with others.
This brings to mind that God sacrificed the divine son for the forgiveness of our sins. Since we are created in God’s image and likeness, we should get that was a heart- wrenchingly difficult gift to us. Thanks be to God.
Action: Recall, with gratitude, God’s generous gift, and when someone blessed you with generosity.