Today I feel remarkably compelled to re-tell a much-told story. In fact, I have felt so compelled for a few weeks, but up until now, could not remember the motivation.
The story to be told, one often told, is that about the Widow’s Offering, in Luke 21:1-4 in the Holy Bible (New International Version). “As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’ ”
The motivation, readers, was a National Geographic article about the Kyrgyz people in the forbidding Afghanistan territory called the “Wakhan Corridor”.The reason the Kyrgyz people reminded me of that passage should be clear to those of you who are familiar with the region. See the article here: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/02/wakhan-corridor/finkel-text
It is a land where mortality rate is stiff and fortune seems rare. But these people, in a seemingly hopeless land, find reasons to hope and reasons to lead with a commitment rivaled by few, and though not a boisterous people, their famous “yurts” constructed out of dull sticks and felt feature, on the inside, a rich variety of ornate quilts. A people led by a fellow called the “Khan”, they number barely over one thousand. Their life is a continuous giving of all they have for each other.
Nature hands us other examples: consider this narrator (William Martha) describing the song of the Ruby-Crowned Kinglet (follow the link to hear). He describes the “outpouring of song” which is remarkable for such a little bird (3.5 inches-4.5 inches). Consider also the familiar Cardinal, piping songs that can be heard for at least a quarter mile, though the bird itself is only seven inches or so long.
And at the gym, I found yet another example: a blind woman venturing out several times a week to swim, then waiting for her ride outside in the cold. Still reaching for full living and connection. It makes me also remember another kind person, also blind, named Ernie, who spent the ten or so years she knew us doting like the grandmothers we never knew. She also taught us how to write braille, from which action grew a very rewarding set of correspondences, full of love and encouragement in subjects ranging from relationships to learning guitar. In myself, I find that my innate human drives compel me to often step out of my bounds, giving all of my social anxieties away (I am autistic). We are meant to go through life together.
Please consider stepping out with me this year to give all that you have. It is something we can do for the Lord Jesus, who gave us all he had, up to and beyond his life. Stay strong and do your best–Love, Benjamin