Tuesday Adoration….my widow’s mite….

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, 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 12:41-44)

Jesus is so delightful.  Nothing escapes His notice….the story of the “widow’s mite” is  a perfect example.  He not only observed her with obvious love and kindness, but He deemed her example worthy of pointing out to His apostles…and to us. 

When I think of this story, I believe that Jesus is speaking not only of money, but of everything we offer to God.

I know many people who have wonderful gifts of teaching and speaking and leadership and organization etc., who really make a difference in my parish and diocese.  But, I’m not one of them.  I don’t have those gifts.

It has always been that way.  I was the quiet, compliant child who prayed that the teacher wouldn’t call on me, not because I didn’t know the answer, but because I knew my face would blush bright red as soon as I heard my name.

My gifts are quiet gifts.  I love to talk to people one on one; I’m really interested in what they have to say.  I try to notice the unique qualities in others, and to give sincere praise, because we all need encouragement.  I can keep a secret forever, and oh, I smile….a lot.  I always have.  I didn’t even realize this until the yearbook crew in my junior high wrote one of those “wills” and by my name declared:  “Patricia wills her ear to ear smile to……”

The years passed, and I guess I kept on smiling. But I didn’t do any of the big, important things that others around me were doing.  That just wasn’t my way.  So, I tried to think of what I might do for the Lord, and I decided that one thing I could easily do would be to  deliberately smile at the people I encountered throughout my day.  And so I made a point of offering warm smiles and a kind word to as many people as possible….especially the elderly, who always smiled back.

Then, I began to think that perhaps this was silly…all this smiling.  “I don’t think I’m going to do this anymore, Lord,”  I said one day.   “I probably look like an idiot.”

I didn’t hear Jesus’ response until the next day, when I read the Letters to the Editor section of our newspaper.  To my amazement, there was a lovely letter written by an older, retired gentleman who simply said that while he had been out shopping in the meat department of his local supermarket, a young woman had smiled at him, and that it had greatly lifted his spirits and made his day.  He went on to say how such little things as a smile are so undervalued in our busy lifestyles, and that sometimes he passed several days without anyone smiling at him…and that he just wanted to say “thank-you.”

I was astonished by the letter, which even I could not write off as a coincidence.  But most of all, I was touched by the graciousness of Jesus.  All this time, He really had been watching me…just as He had observed the widow.  He knew that I wasn’t rich in the gifts most esteemed by others, but He wanted me to know that He was still pleased with my “widow’s mite” of a smile. 

Truly, in His Eyes, everything we try to do for love of Him has worth.  Nothing is too small…not even a smile.  So, if you think that you too are poor like me, look more closely and I know you will find a precious “coin” which will bring great joy to the Heart of Jesus.

When my parents died, within 13 days of each other, I hardly knew my son’s girlfriend (now fiancé.)   But, at the second funeral (my dad’s) she showed up at the funeral home with dozens of delicious homemade cookies.  She must have been up all night baking.  They were just what we needed for a light breakfast before the services began.  I have never forgotten her thoughtfulness, and she quickly endeared herself to my heart that day.

So, even if you can’t do great things by the world’s standards, don’t discount your widow’s mite.  Only in Heaven will you learn its true value.

As for me, well I’m still smiling, with a sub-specialty in children and old people.  ; )

But the One to Whom I give my biggest, most joyful smiles is Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, and I know He smiles right back at me.

The Smile of God, purchased with a widow’s mite!

15 thoughts on “Tuesday Adoration….my widow’s mite….

  1. Patricia, Your warm smile is no surprise to me..I can see it even in cyberspace..: )
    Your widow’s mite has blessed many people I’m sure. And wait till heaven.. They’ll be no getting a library table with you..

    You’re soon to be daughter-in law will have such a sweet mother …I am so happy for you and your son.

    I’ve never had anything but widow’s mites for the Lord either, in fact some ministry sent me one as a symbol of our poverty before the Lord. I keep it on my kitchen counter so I can always offer it up when I see it.

    As Always…Love hugs and Blessings +

    • Hey Caroline, somehow I think you smile a lot too : ) As for the library table, we’ll make sure we get one big enough for all us little people…we wouldn’t want to leave anyone out.

      Yes, I’m excited about having a daughter. We are going to lunch and shopping next week for her birthday present. I hope it will be a lovely time of bonding. She’s a sweet girl. If only I could get those two back to Church!!!!

      I’m glad you are in the “widow’s mite” group too : ) Sometimes I feel so lost among the “big souls,” but I actually like being little. Therese used to say that she wished she could make herself even smaller before the Lord.

      As with all things, it is the love offered with the gift that counts…whether the gift be great or small.

      Love and a big hug to you too!
      Patricia : ) : ) : )

  2. It is as St Therese says: to do little things with great love. I think that is what Jesus saw in the widow that day. When we do things with great love we give from our poverty not our surplus.
    Keep smiling with great love, Patricia. 🙂
    God bless.

    • Hi Karin, I agree with you about Therese. Some years after the incident I wrote about in my post, I came across Therese writing that since as a nun, she had no money to give for alms, she liked to give the “alms of a smile.” And so she bestowed her beautiful smile on all the nuns…especially the most disagreeable among them. I was delighted to read this about her.
      We all have some little treasure to share, and like you observed, it is really the love which gives it worth.
      You keep smiling too! : )

      Love and blessings,

  3. This is a brilliant post and it shows how we can really give others treasures without even realising it. Your smile meant a lot to than man and others whom you met.

    Thank you for this cheerful and worthy message, Patricia.

    Thank you too for your prayers. I have responded to your comments on my Blog.

    God bless you and yours.

    • Victor! Thank you for coming to visit me. So glad you liked the post. I have no doubt that you are a super cheerful guy…given you many witty remarks I encounter as I click around : ) Can’t wait to read your “cat book,” as I have a crazy feline myself.

      I still plan to write to you about the e-book publishing you told me about last fall. There have just been so many changes over the last few months..my husbnad retiring for one, and so I haven’t had as much time to focus on new ideas…like learning about the e-books.

      Thank you for your sincerely encouraging words above, as well as those in the past. God bless you always for your kindness.

      Many blessings,

  4. You may have quiet gifts, Patricia, but they are very effective. Noticing the good, unique qualities in others and giving sincere praise and encouragement and smiling especially at the elderly are great gifts of love to Jesus, as you are ministering to his body. You also do have the gift of teaching and sharing your faith, you just do it in writing rather than in speech. I found a verse tonight that I think you would like, Isaiah 30:15 –

    “For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies, but you would have none of it.”

    I think the “but you would have none of it” is meant for me as I try to resolve too much on my own when God is saying in this verse it is better to remain peaceful before the gaze of God and allow Him to act. Reminds me that you were wise to take your concerns before the Lord in Adoration.

    • Hello dear Colleen. You are always such a kind and loving presence when you comment on my blog. Thank you! I like the verse from Isaiah that you found. It is
      especially meaningful today after an encounter with my son which left me feeling very sad. I know that I need to remain calm, quiet and trust in the Lord as I
      walk through these difficult months, which should be so joyful, as his wedding approaches.

      You are right about adoration. I was there today, and told Jesus that I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t spend time in His Real Presence, just soaking in His Love and His Peace and His Strength.

      You are a precious and generous person, Colleen. Thank you so much for your friendship.

      Love and hugs,

  5. This was a divine enlightening article for me..I have been searching for answers on a “widows mite” i found in my dining room after my home was cleansed by the blowing of a shofar..I have been puzzled where it came from or why it appeared..we all stared @ it astonished..only God..your article says helped me understand..thank you..

  6. I meant your article helped me gain understanding I am a separated mother of 5..i give from my heart it may not be as much as I would love to give, but Jesus is pleased with my compassion of love for his people, my time and caring putting others before me..thank you for helping me see that..God Bless..

    • Hi Kali! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I’m so grateful to God that the post about the widow’s mite was helpful to you. God understands when we don’t have much money to give, but we can always give from our hearts….as you said. I think He loves that most of all. God bless you too! Hope you visit again!


  7. Beautiful! I have a son who was nicknamed “smiley” by his preschool teacher, and although he has not achieved all the awards and honors that mark “success” as he graduates from high school this year his kindness is known by all. Truly that is what matters. Thanks for this beautiful post, you have filled my heart with gratitude! God bless you!

    • Oh Heidi, how precious…your son being nicknamed “smiley”. Kindness is my favorite quality in others. I think I would love your son…and we could exchange smiles 😉 I have a feeling you smile a lot too! Thank you so much for your lovely comment! Blessings always!

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