The Gospel story of the widow contributing two small; coins has us missing the older English version of the story. In it the widow contributed two “mites.” Simple old words like mites make us see the Bible as literature.
In St. Mark’s original version of the story what the widow contributed were two leptas, which were brass coins that were so thin that they fluttered down when you dropped them. William Tyndale’s English translate of 1525 called them mites, which were also extremely light brass coins.
St. Paul’s school office has two of the original leptas preserved in a picture frame. A single one can be secured on E-Bay for $185.
The story tells us that God highly appreciates the sacrifices of people who are in need themselves. I have a friend who taught high school English for thirty-seven years. Since retirement he has been volunteering three days a week at the hospital where his wonderful wife passed away. Saturday he was talking to me about thousands of people in our city who give most of their time to volunteering. We are surrounded by generosity and goodness.