Written by: Rachael Keefe

The Other Ones

You could see the woman, the widow, the one without means she kept to the shadows, head down and quiet, even her steps were silent as she approached the treasury …

The Other Ones

You could see the woman, the widow, the one without means
she kept to the shadows, head down and quiet, even her steps were silent
as she approached the treasury box to add her two cents
far less than others put in

No one took notice
yet you saw her and spoke of her sacrifice and her value
You did not let her go unseen, one among many,
many so much prettier, shinier, showier
who wanted to be seen giving what they would not miss
in a way that spoke of their own significance
and drew attention away from those whose value
they overlooked with training and intention

A widow whose name has not been spoken in thousands of years
acted out Your teachings and wanted nothing for her effort
and we still fail to see

We see her two copper coins and recognize (sometimes) the beauty of her gift
yet we still make it about the money and think that You are asking more of us
than we can possibly give

More than anything else You would like us to open our eyes as Bartimaeus did
and see the way You see and stop confusing money and possessions and success and power
with value and worth and humanity and belovedness

Who have we failed to notice hiding out on the margins where we cover them
in shadows and shades of undesirability?
Who holds their gifts out to us like two copper coins whose value isn’t measured in
dollars and cents?

You keep telling us to care for the widows, the poor, the orphans, the captives, the vulnerable
and we close our eyes tightly and clothe ourselves with importance and privilege
choosing not to be merciful or grace-filled or loving

It’s easier for us to keep our eyes closed to the pain-filled ones, the hungry ones, the lonely ones
the forgotten ones, the unwanted ones, the broken ones, the rejected one, the bullied ones,
all the other ones
whom You claim as beloved ones
and we choose not to see
because we are afraid
that we will become the unseen ones
and the foolish things we value might determine our own worth

And we tell ourselves that You can’t see through the illusion of perfection
we create to hide from ourselves

It’s time we learn the widow’s truth
no number of coins given or received could reflect her worth
no shadows could hide her from You

Grant us the courage to set aside the cloak of privilege
open our eyes and see
those other ones as Your beloved ones
as our loved ones
and reclaim and rename all those hiding ones
as neighbors, friends, family
members of One Body
One in You

RCL – Year B – Twenty-fifth Sunday after Pentecost – November 11, 2018
Ruth 3:1-5; 4:13-17
Psalm 127
1 Kings 17:8-16
Psalm 146
Hebrews 9:24-28
Mark 12:38-44

Photo: CC0 image by Michael Gaida

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About Rachael Keefe

Rachael is an author, a pastor, a teacher, and a poet. Her latest book (The Lifesaving Church - Chalice Press) is on faith and suicide prevention. She is currently the pastor of Living Table UCC in Minneapolis, and has launched a spiritual direction practice.

4 thoughts on “The Other Ones”

  1. This is absolutely beautiful and helps me to put words into those broken, difficult to swallow places that we are living with right now. Thank you for sharing.


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