This was it. The day had come. She didn’t want it to come, of course, but ever since her husband passed away…

Life was still and slow now. Most people had moved on. Her home was often silent and she was often alone.

She found herself on her knees more than ever. Eyes closed and head bowed, words would sometimes pour freely from her soul. At other times she was quiet, simply waiting at heaven’s door.

The day her answer came she walked patiently through the streets, her mind swallowed up in the task she’d been called to do. Many pushed passed her, hurrying about their duties. But not today, not for her.

When she arrived at the temple, she pulled out two small copper coins and placed them in the offering box. It was all she had. And now it was gone.

It certainly wasn’t easy. She felt the fear. But in her times in prayer the word she kept hearing was “Give.”

She couldn’t tell anyone about this. First of all, there was no one to tell. Her children and friends had forgotten her. She was now alone. But even if there had been someone to tell, she was certain they would have counseled her against it. “It’s not wise,” she imagined someone saying. “God doesn’t need your money,” said another.

As she turned to leave the temple, a familiar voice rang out: “Truly, I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Turning, she saw him. It was the Teacher, the one everyone had been talking about, the one from Nazareth.

“He was here?” she wondered. “And he saw me?” Tears filled her eyes. “Nobody sees me,” she thought. “I’m not rich or big or important.”

He was the one who preached to thousands. He was the one famous for his miracles. He was the one constantly swarmed by the crowds. But here, in this moment, he was the audience and she the lead actress. And he approved.

His praise was life itself. She no longer felt poor, but rich, rich with true riches, rich with something that could never be taken away.

Her two copper coins seemed a paltry offering in the presence of one so great. She would have given more if she could. She would have endured her troubles a thousand times over if he had asked.

Who could have imagined that giving would feel like gaining?

She, who was the giver, received the true gift. She, who was all alone, was not alone. Her money had run out, but her God came in the flesh to meet her. And he’s the same God still.