That scripture has meaning. I read it, and blow by it; till it comes around and I find it suddenly relevant.
1 And *looking on, he saw the rich men cast their gifts into the treasury.
2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in two brass mites.
3 And he said: Verily I say to you, that this poor widow hast cast in more than they all.
4 For all these have, of their abundance, cast into the offerings of God: but she, of her want, hast cast in all her living that she had.
Which four verses I had always supposed to mean, very simply, that it is the proportion of our gift that counts, not the size. And, well, that is what is says; it is what it means.
But I had never considered it as having anything to do with faith, or what we might call “good Christians”.
We often categorize, or I do anyway, Christians: some are so-so, some are gungho. And I arrive at these conclusions based on the regular signs of faith; it’s not entirely erroneous. Bible studies church attendance, charity. Undoubtedly, these are good indications of the strength of someone’s faith, but they are only external.
We neglect to consider the obstacles they may have overcome just to step inside a church. I was raised on the church, I’ve had every opportunity to grow in my faith. Given that, though some people think me a solid Christian, my faith is really quite pathetic. What opportunity I’ve squandered, how vigorously have I resisted Living Water.
But others, others, seem so weak in their faith. Their shoot is so small and withered. But what soil does it grow on? The soil is dry and cracked, salted and acidic. But, they grow. What an intense desire they must have for God to grow in soil so poor! If their gift is small, if their faith all but nothing, they are still giving all they have. Everything they can. Fighting the good fight, even if they do not seem to be winning.
And we, or I, think them weak because I happened to have been given every gift of faith that one could. But what have I done with what I’ve been given? Next to nothing.
But they, though externalities, make them appear weak have done more than I ever have.
Only God can judge the heart. And that is what is judged. The penny of one person’s faith, is a whole lot more than the gold of anothers. From he to whom much is given, much will be expected. In this, I know I fail.