Wangerin spoke of the poor widow whom Elijah encountered in 1 Kings 17 during a time of drought. Though she had only “a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug,” she trusted Elijah when he said, “For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘The jar of flour shall not be spent, and the jug of oil shall not be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the earth’” (1 Kings 17:12, 14). She made a little cake for Elijah and then something for her and her son. And by the grace of God, “The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah” (1Kings 17:15).
The poor fed Elijah.
Then Wangerin turned to the Magnificat and the words of Mary, who sang of God,“He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty” (Luke 1:51-53).
She who was a poor and humble vessel fed a world hungry for salvation through the birth of her son, Jesus, who was the very Son of God.
Based on the stories of these two “poor” women, we who think we have little to offer to others need to think again. God can do great things through the littlest of things.
That is actually his modus operandi.
As Jesus himself explained, “It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade” (Mark 4:31-32).
So what is your “little thing” that you can give to others that will take root and grow in the lives of others?
Wangerin mentioned an older man who hands out little crosses to the Sunday school children in his church to plant the seed of faith in them.
What can your “little thing” be? God will make it grow!