giving little

We're giving a retreat this weekend for interns from a ministry that has brought many groups of guys for retreats with us in past years. I think we'll use the story of the widow's mite again. But discuss it from a different perspective. The interns probably come from a background closer to mine, and likely won't identify with the poor widow. But I do think all our contributions are, ultimately, as small as the widow's two cents. Some of us just don't realize how small our contributions really are.

I'm also thinking of using a familiar scene from church, of a parent giving a child some money to put in the offering plate. How our giving is really like that. God gives to us so we have something to give to others.

Many of us tend to see ourselves and our contributions quite differently. What we produce or give becomes a sign of our self worth, a source of pride. To be able to only give little or to have our gifts unappreciated strikes at our self esteem. That may also be much of what drives overwork and leads to burnout, especially among "ministy" types.

That's one thing I think the poor (like the poor widow) can show us. How to give little. Being able to admit how little we really have to give, accepting that in the humble realization that we're not the Giver that others really need.

And being able to give all, because we also trust in the Giver.