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Day 17 - Issue 15

Mark 12:44 (NLT)

'For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.'

When we speak of abundance, or what might be described as plentifulness and prosperity, it becomes difficult to reach any agreed objective measure. We have an internal means for determining what abundance is for me. I have talked with Franciscan friars who to my mind have virtually nothing and partners of city law firms who I think have more than I might ever dream of. Yet, both seem confident and content with their lifestyle.

When of course we speak of poverty, then it is easier to reach agreement. It is when the resources we have are insufficient and inadequate for supporting me at the most basic level of survival. Only Jesus it seems can find merit in such a condition as he commends the widow who gives to God out of her poverty. In other words she gave what she couldn't afford.

Poverty itself is related to financial wealth, yet extends far beyond. As I was learning the personal cost of caring I came to discover I had nothing like the resources I needed for the task. What’s more, I’d assumed that somehow the special grace of God would descend and as in other walks of the Christian life, preaching, teaching, praying for others, I would discover a rich reservoir of God’s provision. How wrong I was! My tiredness, anger and frustration needed constant management. I never found the grace gift of caring. I did so out of love for Katey yes, but also through sheer will power. I was completely impoverished in my emotional capacity to cope and to care. Yet, somehow I continued, often surviving the day hour by hour.

I was anxious about money, and my future financial needs, and this did keep me from sleep on several occasions. I am not proud of my temperamental approach, yet I am encouraged as I reflect on the reality of my caring from the depths of my own poverty, encouraged that maybe this is what Jesus commended the widow on.

Question: Are you able to give when you believe you have nothing?

Prayer: Father, my security is in you so help me trust you when you ask me to give & I want to hold on to what I have. Amen

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