November 10, 2012

The Widow and the Cross



As he taught, he said, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces,  and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets!  They devour widows' houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation."
            He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums.  A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny.  Then he called his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury.  For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on."
-- Mark 12:38-44 



Not a black spider with red hourglass on her back
Not a hairline peak on a combed-back forehead
Not a walk on the rooftop in wartime waiting

She, a woman intimate with grief’s grip on her throat
She, a woman befriending fear like the neighbor’s cat
She, a woman weak like candle smoke in men’s windy ways

Yet, Jesus points his unmanicured finger her way, not theirs
Yet, Jesus extrapolates her silent penny to God, not their flapping bills and lips
Yet, Jesus notices her aloud, the mimetic mirror of his own complete giving

Not an Easter bun with sweet drizzled icing
Not a verb for getting to the other side of the street
Not an ornament for church or neck or ring

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