I have often wondered about characters in the Bible about whom very few words are written, similar to this woman. Where was she from? How long has it been since her husband died? Where was the rest of her family? How did she reach this point in her spiritual life where she would give all that she had to the work of God?

What I find most intriguing is her anonymity. This woman is not spoken of anywhere else in Scripture and we know nothing more about her, yet her story continues to resonate thousands of years later as the ultimate example of spiritual obedience and generosity.

Her actions seem to be so contradictory to how our world operates today. Taking nothing away from those who generously give to charities of all kinds, however the inspiration to do so is sometimes for what we get back in return.

Corporations give millions of dollars a year to have their identity connected to an event or seldom-used stadium.  Many give millions of dollars in return to have their name placed on a building or facility, others give money to have their name engraved on a brick placed along a walkway, and others still give in exchange for a piece of product.

Once again, these are all fine acts of giving, but the lesson Jesus taught was both of sacrificial giving and of anonymity.

I wonder if we weren’t told of the woman’s name or her identity so we wouldn’t “raise her up” as we are often prone to do with those who “do good.” If we knew more about her, some would probably name their children after her, organizations would use her name in their titles, and we would soon lose focus of the heart and reason behind the deed in order to focus on her.

Simply put, the major deterrent to living out a life of sacrifice is oftentimes us. We get in the way due to our need and desire to be acknowledged and praised for what we do, to have control of every situation, and for it to be more about us rather than him.

Shine out his light and don’t worry about having it shine on you.


Cliff Young is a contributing writer to Sandlot Stories (ARose Books), as well as the monthly column, "He Said-She Said," in Crosswalk.com's Singles Channel.  An architect and former youth worker, he now works with Christian musicians and consults for a number of Christian ministries. Got feedback?  Send your comments and questions to cydmg@yahoo.com.