The Enormous Harvest of a Single Act
And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites.... And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, ... they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living. Mark 12:42-44.
By the laws of God in nature, effect follows cause with unvarying certainty. The reaping testifies to the sowing. Here no pretense is tolerated. Men may deceive their fellow men, and may receive praise and compensation for service which they have not rendered. But in nature there can be no deception. On the unfaithful husbandman the harvest passes sentence of condemnation.
And in the highest sense this is true also in the spiritual realm. It is in appearance, not in reality, that evil succeeds. The child who plays truant from school, the youth who is slothful in his studies, the clerk or apprentice who fails of serving the interests of his employer, the man in any business or profession who is untrue to his highest responsibilities, may flatter himself that, so long as the wrong is concealed, he is gaining an advantage. But not so; he is cheating himself. The harvest of life is character, and it is this that determines destiny, both for this life and for the life to come.
The harvest is a reproduction of the seed sown. Every seed yields fruits after its kind. So it is with the traits of character we cherish. Selfishness, self-love, self-esteem, self-indulgence, reproduce themselves, and the end is wretchedness and ruin.... Love, sympathy, and kindness yield fruitage of blessing, a harvest that is imperishable.
In the harvest the seed is multiplied. A single grain of wheat, increased by repeated sowings, would cover a whole land with golden sheaves. So widespread may be the influence of a single life, of even a single act.
What deeds of love the memory of that alabaster box broken for Christ’s anointing has through the long centuries prompted! What countless gifts that contribution, by a poor unnamed widow, of “two mites, which makes a farthing” (Mark 12:42), has brought to the Saviour’s cause! ...
“He which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” ... By casting it away the sower multiplies his seed. So by imparting we increase our blessings. God’s promise assures a sufficiency, that we may continue to give.
More than this: as we impart the blessings of this life, gratitude in the recipient prepares the heart to receive spiritual truth, and a harvest is produced unto life everlasting.—Education, 108-110.
From Reflecting Christ - Page 342