One day, Jesus was sitting in front of the temple watching the people give. The temple had these big brass pots that the worshipers would throw money into as a noisy display.
Pharisees often came with great aplomb to make their offering. They would take a small portion of their fortunes, cash it out into the smallest denomination of coin, then loudly pour it all into the collection bins.
While Jesus watched, a fragile little widow hobbled up. In her hand was a pair of mites. Just two copper coins. It was nothing compared to the opulent displays around her, but it was more than she had to spare. She tossed the two coins into the pot and quietly moved away. Jesus used her as a teaching example.
And He said, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them. . .”
I’ve met the woman in that story. Her name was Mrs. Morris.
Mrs. Morris lived in a white frame house with her grown, mentally-challenged son Jimmy. Mrs. Morris was a tiny woman probably in her late 70’s. She was about four-feet-two-inches of sparkling wit and a deep love of Christ.
Our church held a fund raising campaign, and Mrs. Morris was one of my stops. Amy and I pulled to the curb and my heart sunk. I said, “Amy, I don’t want to go in there. Mrs. Morris doesn’t have any money to give, and if she tried I’d want to give it back to her.”
Mrs. Morris met us with a smile. Jimmy was smiling too. She said, “We’ve been waiting for this visit since the campaign started! Jimmy and me couldn’t wait to give our part.” Mrs. Morris ushered us through the tiny living room with old furniture and cat hair, past the various works of hand-made art to her den. Mrs. Morris never stopped talking. “Jimmy and me wanted so much to give, but as you know we’re on a fixed income. We just couldn’t figure what we were going to do. Then it dawned on us, we could sacrifice our TV.” Mrs. Morris pointed to an old television sitting on the stand. She said, “Our cable bill is $19 per month, so that’s what we’re pledging.”
I wanted to say, “Mrs. Morris, let those other people do this. You keep your TV.” But of course, she was that widow with the copper coins.
I believe to this day that the greatest gift ever given that church came out of the Morris house.
Here’s the principle: The one who cherishes the kingdom the most is the one who gives the most to it. And the one who gives the most is the one who keeps the least!