Widow’s Mite

Sunday in church I witnessed another of several occasions that rank right up there with the “widow’s mite” found in the Scriptures.
After church, a young mother with an infant tied to her back in typical Tanzanian style came forward and shyly greeted us and gave something to Pastor George. She quietly whispered something to him and then turned and walked away.
Pastor George opened up his hand and showed us the crumpled and dirty 10,000/= (shilling) note; the equivalent to about $8.00. By the simple way she was dressed it was obvious that it was a large sum of money for her to be giving away to the church.
Pastor George explained that she wanted to help buy chairs for the church; each chair is about 20,000/=. However, she had been holding on to the money for some time and was afraid that if she did not go ahead and give it she would be tempted to spend it for something else. She will work on collecting the remainder of the money over the next few weeks/months.
My desire was to return the money to her since she was obviously poor and could well have used the money herself. However, I remember the look of joy that flashed in her eyes in the brief moment she made eye contact with me and I realized that it was not for me to take that away from her.
She may go a long time before she again experiences the joy that simple act of giving brought to her. In the days ahead when times are hard and she has a financial need she will remember the joy and she will be content. She knows what it is to be in need on a daily basis; she does not, however, experience the joy and satisfaction that comes from giving every day.
There are some things more important than money and that money cannot buy; one of them is joy.

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