October 21, 2015

The Need

An anonymous family in the church is going through a difficult time and a specific request went out for help with food, diapers and grocery store gift cards. As so often happens, our benevolent mind jumps over the stated need and races to what we have that that we can offer…clothes, cash, toys. I’m reminded of the poor widow who put two small copper coins in the temple treasury. Jesus could have asked the widow what she needed, or even ask the disciples what they thought she needed — food, money, caregivers, or another husband. However, in order to teach a spiritual lesson Jesus went beyond the obvious physical needs and looked at the widow’s heart. “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 NIV).

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----Jesus made rhetoric of a situation that did not technically fit His statement about it. She did put in all she had to live on. But all she put in might have bought her little more than a cheeseburger. That’s not a very long living, so the difference between keeping it for a cheeseburger and giving it is not that pronounced. But she did give it. To see a wealthy man put his fortune in the treasury and join the widow for no dinner tonight might have been a more pronounced statement.
-----It is hard to discern how people need help. I tend to think that sometimes a family in trouble needs to join the widow for no dinner, too. I hear what terrible times this economy is while watching these forty-thousand dollar diesel pickups towing around trailers full of snowmobiles, four wheelers, motorcycles, and boats. Though this family’s troubles may not arise from excessive payments on toy debt, what else may have been the systemic cause of their plight.
-----Everything happens by cause. Sometimes that cause is outside one’s own control. Most of the time it is not entirely so. Either way, hard work and bucking up a heavy load can get a family through a crisis. Being too quick to supply cash and toys can interfere with what a troubled family most, more dedication to hard work and responsibility.
-----At the end of the discussion is the inevitable situation of a committed, responsible family stumbling and needing a hand up. Discernment should always precede distribution.

Love you all,
Steve Corey