Then Jesus said to them, "How can they say that the Messiah is David's son? For David himself says in the book of Psalms, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool."' David thus calls him Lord; so how can he be his son?" In the hearing of all the people he said to the disciples, "Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love 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 looked up and saw rich people putting their gifts into the treasury; he also saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; for all of them have contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” Luke 20:41 - 21:4
I had a visitor today. An old widow named Johanna came knocking at our door. Papa was not going to let her in because she is very religious and very traditional. He thought someone had sent her to harm me or the baby. Momma and Papa grilled her for a very long time but finally let her in. She has been very old since I can remember and we children always thought she was really a witch. Today her countenance was different somehow, as if in that mass of wrinkles on her face, color and light had found a home. I didn't even think to be afraid of her when she came and sat with my parents. She had something to drink that Momma offered her and then told us a story.
She said that for the last few nights she has been having dreams, dreams that were so vivid and so real. She prays every night before bed, and admitted that she had prayed that Joseph and I would be punished for bringing shame on the whole village. She told us she had thought we were foolish lying people who were using God as a cover for their misbehavior. She had dreams every night for a week. It was a vision of sheep in a pasture, bleating and wandering all different directions. She sensed they were crying out and in danger. But she would awake in the morning with no answers, no solutions for the lost sheep. And then last night it became clear. The meadow was the same but Joseph and I were there with a young man. He was the obviously the shepherd. The sheep came running to him and turned into people. All shades and types, all ages and traditions. They came forward and there was more and more light. She awoke knowing what she had to do.
Johanna then opened her basket and gave us some precious little things for our baby. And then she gave us some money. It was too much for her to give since we all knew she was so poor. Papa tried to refuse her but she told him that we were going on a long journey and needed it. God told her to help us, to protect us on our journey. She told us she would be praying for us every hour and would find people to help us on our journey. She smiled and then, left, surprisingly quickly for such an ancient woman. We all sat there stunned and then thanked God for her kindness and generosity.
Auntie, you were right. You told me there would be days that would be very hard to bear. And that even when things were terrible, God would send helpers and angels in the strangest forms. Thank you.