Almsgiving is an integral part of Lenten practice, but what if we feel we have little to give? At such times we can recall the story of the widow’s mite (Luke 21:1-4). This widow had two “lepta,” equal to 1/20 of a penny. In the Court of the Women there were 13 collection boxes shaped like trumpets with the narrow part at the top. Each one had a different purpose. Would the money be used for incense, vessels, or something else? The widow didn’t have to reflect long on which box to choose. After all, her tiny bit wouldn’t make a dent. Maybe the onlookers wondered why she even bothered. Yet Jesus noticed that she gave “every penny she had to live on.”
Sometimes we hesitate to contribute our two cents worth. We think others have better ideas, more talents, more clout. Why should we bother to proffer our meager gifts? We might look silly. Or requests for money pile into our mailboxes. Will my five bucks make much difference? Ultimately, it’s not the amount of money or the genius of ideas. It’s the courage to share the little we have, even if it’s embarrassingly small. Jesus notices when we share our two cents worth.