Two Small Copper Coins

This photo brings me joy, because I know the people whose faces are veiled from you, and I know the generous exchange that occurred between these two on this day. I called one of these individuals the day prior to remind him about the Mobile Food Pantry the following day. He has limited income, so this type of service certainly helps. He showed up in celebration about the cart he had found in his garage that he had fashioned together with duct tape to hold his food. After proudly sharing the story with me, he began to make his way around the table. In route, he offered his cart to two women who were collecting vegetables by hand, not having brought their own bag. He offered his cart, and they gratefully accepted. It was just a cart, and it was in rough shape, but it was just what they needed.

Last week, as I was putting my son to bed, he asked me a question about what it means to be poor. God brought to mind the story of the widow with two very small copper coins, found in Luke 21:1-4. I paraphrased the story for him, reminding him at the end that those who are poor in wealth are often rich in generosity. In his six- year old mind, he could accept that. And in a way only God can do, God reminded me through the words I spoke aloud what is true about being poor. When I half-awoke the next morning, with my son snuggled next to me in bed listening to a meditation, the same narrative echoed from a reader’s voice: A widow who had just two copper coins, gave them both away. This is a picture of how we learn from those who are poor according to the world’s standards of riches. Those who are poor in wealth, like the individual on the right side of this picture, are often rich in generosity. May we be changed by this truth.

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