When the widow approaches the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 4:1-7), she is desperate not only to feed her two children but to save them from being sold into slavery – seemingly her only option to pay off a debt. Elisha asks what she has in her house. The woman finds a jar of oil. Elisha then asks her to borrow empty vessels – not just a few – from her neighbors. Elisha tells her to start pouring oil from her own jar into the borrowed ones. The woman pours and pours. The oil flows freely until she runs out of jars. Now she can sell the oil, pay her debts, and feed her family.
Some might point to the women’s own agency in the story, as she put forth effort to help alleviate her poverty. But the more powerful truth is that she couldn’t do it on her own. The widow needed the help of her community – those jars were from the neighbors. She received help from Elisha, too. Her family’s nourishment was a community effort. God’s love was enacted collectively to help alleviate hunger and sustain well-being.
This message is excepted from “We do it together.” by Lisa A. Smith in the April 2021 Gather magazine.
Special note: The Daily Grace app will soon be retired. To avoid interruption, those who read Daily Grace in the app are encouraged to subscribe to receive Daily Grace via email.
If you enjoy this resource, Donate Now.