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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

My Journey: Pennies, Poems and Prayer

By Lucinda J. Rollings
Mar. 16, 2014

Is a penny important?

The Bible tells about a time when Jesus sat and watched as people tossed money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. Then a poor widow dropped in coins worth only a fraction of a penny.

Speaking to His disciples, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43,44, NIV).

This poor widow had no idea she would someday be a role model to millions. People have been marveling over her gift for centuries.

Let me tell you about a modern-day widow. In the past, Karen, 60, and her daughter sometimes lived in shelters or in substandard housing in bad neighborhoods. Once Karen was robbed and left bleeding in an alley and had to crawl back to her house to call 911.

How did Karen survive those difficult times?

“Jesus protected me through all the hard days,” she says.

Despite her past experiences, Karen tries to see the good in people.

A Christian couple helped get Karen into a program that led to her finding a one-bedroom apartment in a safer neighborhood. With the help of government grants, loans, and others’ generosity, Karen’s daughter was able to attend college and earn a degree in youth ministries.

Today Karen has a job delivering newspapers. She doesn’t drive or own a car. Karen depends on others to provide transportation to church.

But Karen has a mighty ministry. She writes encouraging letters and poems to those in various ministries. Her handwritten notes sometime include pictures and a little about herself. Mostly her letters offer praise to God. And if you give Karen a prayer request, you can be assured of her prayers.

Often, Karen tapes a penny to the letter — her widow’s mite — to be used for Jesus. We might think it highly irregular to spend nearly 50 cents on a stamp to send a penny donation, but God looks on hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). And Karen has a heart that loves God and appreciates all He has done for her — a heart that loves to share.

We are often the recipients of a widow’s mite from Karen for our children’s ministry. We count her among our most faithful prayer partners.

Karen’s picture and a taped penny hang on the bulletin board above my desk as a reminder of how God uses little things, like pennies and poems, to bring great blessing and to do His work. They inspire me to strive to live up to Jesus’ standard of giving — His all.

We know when we stand before our glorious Savior in heaven, all the Karens of this world will have an honored place in His presence.

LUCINDA J. ROLLINGS lives in Greenwood, Ind.


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