The Widow in the Temple

Mark 12:42, A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny.

Was the poor woman in the temple whom Jesus observed young or elderly?  In 1973, Christians in Cameroon, were asked to depict certain bible passage which were later turned into paintings.  The painting of the widow in the temple is seen through the eyes of Jesus.  She young, tall, slim earing a gold-yellow dress while carrying a large basket on her head and a thumb sucking toddler in her arms.

A wealthy black man in a flowing robe, wearing glasses, is walking away from the viewer as he drops a large gold coin into an offering jar.  He appears to give the widow a disdainful look.

The young widow is barefoot, whereas the wealthy man and all the bystanders watching are sandaled.  Her eyes look down as her last means of support fall into the pot.  The rich man sort of flips his coin without breaking stride, “no big deal.”  The widow’s son eyes the man.

In the background several women watch the scene playing out.  Off to the side an elderly man also watches; a quizzical look on his face.  He holds his purse in front of him, his hand poised to take out his own offering, wondering about his own offering.

Mark’s gospel doesn’t tell us what becomes of the widow.  But the wealthy man will soon face a test. As he leaves the room he will pass by a beggar seated at the doorway holding out his hand.  The question hangs in the viewer’s mind, how much will he drop in the beggar’s hand?

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