“She did what she could.” Mark 14:8 (NIV)
When asked about how my ministry is supported, I find it slightly awkward to give a definitive answer. In one sense I do not receive a “paycheque”. Various people kindly give annually, occasionally, or even monthly to the support of my expenses and living so that I am free to work full-time among those who are hurting.
Many of the people I work with do not have a minister or priest to call on in times of need. They are too busy attending to their own issues to think of how my work is funded. That is fine with me as I have a small group of people who give and my needs are met.
However, there is one aspect of my receiving support that humbles me greatly. Occasionally a person, who has little to give away because of poverty, will send along a gracious gift to help in my work. When I realise they need to keep it for themselves it makes me very careful how I spend the gift.
It may that the giver is a widow, someone who is unemployed, or a person living on disability. The person has obviously sacrificed to make their contribution and I feel a sense of pain at how they have deprived themselves for the sake of my work. It is wonderful that we have such people who give until it hurts.
Obviously I am also grateful for the larger gifts that go far to make my life easier and my ministry more widespread. I thank God that He has people who have the capacity to give in such a manner and who love to support a work that they are not equipped to do.
Whether it is someone who can financially support work like mine, or people called as I am to do this ministry of helping hurting people, we all have our role to play and need to fulfil it.
I never think twice about helping a family explain to their loved one that they will never walk again, or the disease is too widespread to stop, or whatever. It seems like second nature to me to come alongside and work in such a difficult situation. Friends say, “I don’t know how you do it.” For my part, I look at what they must do each day and think I could not do their job either.
The passage from which I took our verse for today tells the story of a woman who anointed Jesus’ head with an expensive perfume. Some people in attendance rebuked her harshly for such “waste” when the perfume might have been sold and the money given to the poor. Jesus defended her and told them to leave her alone as she did what she could for Him.
The amazing thing is that in God’s sight whatever we do for Him, whether it is a large gift like the lady in our passage gave, or a small gift such as the two pennies the widow put in the offering (Luke 21:2; Mark 12:42), God is far more concerned with the love in our hearts for Him when we give than the price tag on what we give.
Do not bother yourself about how small your offering is to God, if you offer it with a heart full of love for Him it will count as much as the greatest gift anyone could give. Come to your Creator and make your offering today. He looks forward to hearing from you.