The Broken Ones

“As Jesus was sitting opposite the treasury, He watched the crowd placing money into it. And many rich people put in large amounts. Then one poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amounted to a small fraction of a denarius.

Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more than all the others into the treasury. For they all contributed out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.’”
(Mark 12:41-44)

While visiting from out of state, my sister wanted me to watch a television show that she enjoyed. Each night, we watched an episode or two before turning in.

The show, Call the Midwife, is set in the late 50s, early 60s on the East End of London. Back in the day, the nuns – midwives –delivered the babies at home. In this particular episode, one of the babies was born with spina bifida. Despite the pleadings of the baby’s father and the midwife, the baby’s mother refused to hold him. With seemingly no other option, the decision was made to place the baby in an institution.

Upon visiting and meeting with the administrator, a young resident, Jacob, brought the father a cup of tea.

He asked Jacob, “What’s it like here?”

“There’s a biscuit factory next door.”


“We get the broken ones.”

The broken ones. Well, it may as well have been a dagger.

My sister hadn’t heard the exchange and wasn’t sure what I was getting upset about.

Sobbing, I related the conversation.

Completely taken off-guard by my degree of emotion, I asked of no one in particular, “Why do we give broken stuff?”

My sister, obviously taken aback herself, tried to help.

“Don’t you think they’re thankful for what people give?”

Yes, I do. I do think they’re thankful.

But I wasn’t asking about the condition of their hearts.

I was asking about the condition of mine.

Jesus sat and watched the treasury. He watched as crowds of people deposited great sums of money. Yet, he directed their attention to only one:

the one who gave not from the excess of her wallet

but from the excess of her heart.

Mark! Matthew! Luke! Yes, all of you! Come here for a moment.

I want you to see what true wealth looks like.

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