What you give

We watched our first holiday movie this weekend and my daughter told me she was already tired of the season.

We were slicing leftover pie and had just finished putting up the tree so I asked, “The decorations? The food?”

“No,” she said, “The clichés.”

She’s right, the Christmas special we watched was typically drenched in nacho sauce, “find the true meaning… giving…not getting.”

It is good to acknowledge that “get what you really want/all that you want” is not satisfying. And it is nice to talk about the magic of the season, the importance of giving. But giving a few presents isn’t a substitution for the widow’s mite.

I had a friend once who told me that her childhood church collected items from the congregation for a “poor box.” She said she had no idea they were poor until the box was delivered to them on Christmas Eve. It contained old socks and mismatched shoes. The kinds of things second hand stores don’t bother to sell.

If we give from our abundance and call it Christmas, we are likely to feel the same disillusionment on December 26 as those who are lost.

But the issue is not the sum or even the gift. Not all needs are met with money. Some require a harder sacrifice–time, dirty hands. When the widow gave all she had, she was either overcome with gratitude or she trusted God, implicitly.

The widow’s heart: what beauty.

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