On The Offering

There was once a woman, marginalised and unnoticed, poor and silent.

She sat on the sidelines and watched as the rich, recognised, important walked into church and dropped their offerings into the bucket. Each making an impressive sound as it landed, a ripple through the room as the the righteous admired…

how successful he is

what a contribution he makes to the kingdom

how God must approve of him, look at his wealth

oh such generous benefactors

unspoken, echoing loudly in the minds of the watchers.

On the edge, this woman fingers the inside of the second hand pocket on her well-mended garment. She knows so well what is in her pocket. Of such little value and all she has of any value.

She hovers on the edge of decision – logic it seems would say keep it for yourself it won’t make a difference here – and faith sings its contending song when you are loved with endless love how can you hold back, trust the one who makes wonderful things from the dust of the earth

and the watching eyes feel like one more mark against a long checklist that confirm her non-status

She straightens, slips to the edges and casts in the smallest of coins – two of them, all she has.

and they land like a petal falling on the stack of offerings that are sure to change the world.

She turns, lip trembling, heart beating wildly and leaves lighter than all the weight of the world, wholly empty but full in a way no-one else has experienced as they have produced their offerings.

She is free.

…. this woman marginalised, unnoticed, poor, voiceless

and the freedom song her heart sings is shared by a watching man – another who knows what is is to give all of it, the whole of life.

He notices, he tells her story, he makes her rich and his voice gives her story immortality.

What are you holding in your pocket today?
How small is your offering?
Who do you offer to and do you know what God makes from dust?

He makes beloved ones. 

So maybe he can do something miraculous with your smallest and complete offering.

Those tiny pennies may not amount to much here but to a God who makes life from dust and breath those tiny pennies/words/gifts/service/patience… those might be ripples whose stories are told in the screenplay of eternity.

live generous today
trust the miracle maker
throw caution to the wind
give it all

What Would You Have Offered?

The little boy who gave his lunch to Jesus (not even, to one of the disciples actually) – this wild boy who started a mind boggling miracle. 5,000 people from a questionable cheese spread and cracker packet and a soft sandwich containing marmite and wilting lettuce – or something like that!

And I wonder how many mother’s in that crowd didn’t offer the bacon and egg pie they brought – thinking I’m making sure my kids get fed, these people should have been more organised.

I wonder if there were people in the crowd who didn’t offer their peanut butter sandwich reasoning some one might be nut intolerant.

I wonder if some didn’t offer theirs because ‘hello, what delusional person is going to think my filled roll will feed anyone other than me? Logic people.

I wonder who conveniently claimed they ‘don’t have any thing with me sorry’ because they felt confronted and offended by being asked to contribute when they had come to receive.

I wonder who felt too embarrassed to admit what they had with them for fear of judgement from the food police.

I wonder, I wonder, I wonder….

and I wonder what stops me giving to the One I claim to trust

what halts my hand on it’s upward rise to indicate I have something right here

I have something you could use

a talent, a mite, a word, a prayer, a song, a dance, a sandwich, a hug

is it fear? is it shame? is it selfishness? is it logic? is it offence?

whatever the reason I am limiting my opportunity to be involved in some crazy miracle that will fill the world with a little more of his glory.

How can I do that? How can I be so preoccupied with myself that I miss out on changing the world.

I love that kid – maybe his mother tried to stop him? Maybe he was sick of fish for lunch and happy to hand it off? Maybe he was just a little bit of a mischief maker and he saw in the eyes of Jesus someone else who refused to look for excuses and good reasons and lived a little.

What’s in your lunchbox? There are some hungry people around you.