Two of the three readings this weekend talk about widows and their generosity. I feel guilty. I'm not that generous. I work hard for the paycheck I receive and I try to stretch a dollar pretty far to pay bills and spoil nieces and nephews. When I wonder what God is asking of me as I listen to these readings, I think...I've given up so much already, according to societal standards...what more do you want from me?
I should never ask that of God...because the answer is always the same...God replies very simply, "Jayne, I want it all..." Oh man....I'm in trouble.
How did she do that, the widow of Zarephath? She had only enough to feed her child and herself and yet she shared the little she had with a stranger? How does the widow give away the tiny bit she had to live on, in a society that had no regard for her as a widow...how could she risk giving her last pennies as a tithe to the temple? How would they take care of themselves after they gave it all away?
Maybe there's a lesson in trust for me here...
If God truly wants me to give all I have away...metaphorically, literally, and any other way, maybe the way I can do that is if I trust God to take care of me when I have nothing. I can spend the next 20 years worrying about who will take care of me when I can't work anymore...or I can trust that in my old age, God will provide. I can worry about how will I afford a new car when this one breaks down, or I can trust that God will show me a way...and maybe mass transit is a better option for me some days. I can worry about paying the bills, or I can believe another when it is said "I'll help you." How hard it is to ask for help, believe in help, trust in help...it's easier to try and do it all myself.
So, maybe when I hear these readings this week I need to remind myself that it is about more than giving...as important as that is...for me at least, it's about trusting, on every level, that when I need help, from my God, from my friends, from my family...that I will find help. And I probably won't even need to ask, because it will be offered out of love.
I need to trust.