Value of a mite
The first mite given
If you have yet to read the story of the widow's mite, check it out in the Book of Mark, chapter 12. It is an account of a person giving all she had. The value of such a gift was declared to be "more" than any of the much larger donations contributed. The contrast between the giver of the "more" offering and the others who gave was likely just as startling as the difference between the monetary value of their respective contributions. A poor widow gave the "more." She brought what she had "to live on" and gave it in the temple treasury out of obedience. "Many rich people" gave much larger sums than that of the widow's "mite."
The widow's feelings are not discussed in this account. No explanation is given about her approach to the gift or her appearance in the offering line. We know she was poor and gave despite her own need. We know that she was obedient to the law regarding tithing. But did any special provision come from her gift, and how was the offering used? Like the widow, we are entirely in the dark about such specifics.
Of course, as humans, we can guess what the widow might have felt while she stood in that line. She may have felt some despair. After all, she was giving what she had to live on. How would she make it through the rest of the week? That would be worrying. She may have felt a little discouragement. What good would her penny do for the temple? How could such a small amount do much of anything? She may have felt a little embarrassed. Standing in line with rich people waiting to give, with only two small copper coins as your offering, would be embarrassing, intimidating, and even potentially frustrating.
Even though these and many more emotions may have been going through the widow's mind, she stayed obedient and gave her mite. That is what made her gift so special. The greatness of the offering had nothing to do with its size. It was the heart of the giver that mattered. This is why we at Mite believe that "Giving is not a matter of the amount of gift. Giving is a matter of the amount of the giver."
How much is your offering worth
How much do we give when we donate our money? If we limit our view of the gifts we contribute to the funds we have in the bank, we limit the value of the gift itself. A gift of money out of our bank account can be replenished. You have more where that came from. But what if we recognize the gift for the value it contains. That money in the bank has only monetary value, but the time spent making that money has a value based on the life behind it - your life. When you view your donation as we do at Mite - as the life that went into making the money, the value of the gift grows infinitely. So does the desire to see your gift put to good use.
The widow brought her mite. She gave what she had to live on - the value of which was in the heart that gave the gift. We, as Miters, give our mite with the same attitude. It may not be the last copper coin we have. Still, it is given with the acknowledgment that it has value beyond the money represented. We give out of obedience, with a desire to positively impact people's lives, understanding that our offering is our life, our time, our mite.