The First Mite Given

If you don’t know the story check it out in the Book of Mark, chapter 12. It is an account of a person giving all she had. The value of such a gift was declared to be “more” than any of the much larger donations contributed. The contrast between the giver of the more gift and the others who gave was likely just as startling as the difference between the monetary value of their respective gifts. A poor widow gave the more gift. She brought what she had “to live on” and out of obedience gave it in the temple treasury. “Many rich people” gave much larger sums than that of the widow’s “mite”.

What may not be particularly evident in this story are the feelings of the widow. There is no discussion about her approach to the gift or to her appearance in the offering line. We know she was poor and gave in spite of her own need. We know that she was giving out of obedience to the law regarding tithing. But we don’t know whether any special provision came from her gift and, just like the widow, we have no idea how her gift was used.

Of course, as human beings we guess some of what the widow might have felt while she stood in that line. She may have felt some despair. After all she was giving what she had to live on. How would she make it through the rest of the week? That would be a little bit worrying. She may have felt a little discouragement. What good would her penny do for the temple? How could such a small amount do much of anything? She may have felt a little embarrassment. Standing in line with rich people waiting to give out of their wealth while you are holding two small copper coins could be a little embarrassing, intimidating and even frustrating.

Even though these and many more emotions may have been going through the widow’s mind, she stayed obedient and gave her mite. That is what made her gift so special. The greatness of the gift had nothing to do with it’s size. It was the heart of the giver that mattered. This is why we at eMite believe that “Giving is not a matter of amount of gift. Giving is a matter of amount of giver.”

How much do we give when we donate our money? If we limit our view of the gifts we donate to the money we have in the bank, we limit the value of the gift itself. A gift of money out of our bank account can always be replenished. You have more where that came from. But what if we recognize the gift for the value it contains. That money in the bank has only monetary value, but the time spent making that money has a value based on the life behind it - your life. When you view your donation as Mite - as the life that went into making the money, the value of the gift grows infinitely and likewise the desire to see that Mite put to good use increases.

The widow brought her mite. She gave what she had to live on - the value of which was in the heart that gave the gift. We, as eMiters, give our Mite from the same heart. It may not be the last copper coins we have but it is given with the acknowledgement that it has value beyond the money represented. We give out of obedience, with a desire to positively impact people’s lives, understanding that what we give is our life, our time, our Mite.