As I have mentioned in the past, one particular Christmas service will always stay with me. I was an usher for the Christmas Day service, and a homeless man arrived just before the service began. Oddly, the only seat left was on the end of the first row. As I escorted him along the wall to his seat, it was obvious that he was uncomfortable; a good number of the parishioners, dressed in their Christmas finest, were watching him walk down the aisle; a few, sadly, clearly with disdain.
When it came time for the collection, the family filling the row to his right did not pass the collection plate to him, but handed the plate back to me. The homeless man looked at me and used his hand to gesture for me to pass the plate to him. He reached into his ragged pants pocket and took out a quarter and placed it in the plate. I was deeply moved by his offering and truly understood Mark 12:41-44 (NIV):
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.
44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”