Posted in encouragement, love, widows

Jesus’ incredible care for widows

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:26-27)

Widow – Konstantin Makovsky, 1865

The Bible speaks so often of the widow, the landless stranger (or alien) and the orphan. This is because in tie social hierarchy of Israel and environs, these three struggled the most in poverty at the lowest of the lowest of stations. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament outline the expectations for the Israelites to take care of the people who unfortunately fell into one of these three classes.

Bible Study Tools/Bakers Evangelical Dictionary describes the plight of the widow.

Widow

Married woman whose husband has died and who remains unmarried. The Hebrew word translated “widow” is almana, and it occurs fifty-six times in the Old Testament. … The Septaugint virtually always translates almana with the Greek term for widow, chera (cf. Job 24:21 ). The same Greek word occurs twenty-six times in the New Testament.
Words that occur in the general semantic field of the term “widow” in the Bible shed light on both her personal experience and social plight. Weeping (Job 27:15; Psalm 78:64), mourning (2 Sam 14:2), and desolation (Lam 1:1) describe her personal experience after the loss of her spouse. Poverty (Ruth 1:21; 1 Kings 17:7-12; Job 22:9) and indebtedness (2 Kings 4:1) were all too often descriptive of her financial situation, when the main source of her economic support, her husband, had perished. 

Indeed, she was frequently placed alongside the orphan and the landless immigrant (Exodus 22:21-22; Deuteronomy 24:17; Deuteronomy 24:19; Deuteronomy 24:20-21) as representative of the poorest of the poor (Job 24:4; 29:12; 31:16; Isa 10:2) in the social structure of ancient Israel, as well as in the ancient Near East. With minimal, if any, inheritance rights, she was often in a “no-man’s land.” She had left her family, and with her husband’s death the bond between her and his family was tenuous.

The New Testament. Widows were prominent in the New Testament. It was no accident that one of the poorest of the poor, Anna, was privileged to greet the infant Messiah (Luke 2:36-38). The adult Jesus followed in the footsteps of his prophetic predecessors with his concern for the plight of the widow. He healed a widow’s son because of compassion for his mother (Luke 7:11-17); he protested the exploitation of widows (Mark 12:40). He reversed the standards by which people were judged with the parable of the widow’s tithe: the widow gave from her poverty while the wealthy merely offered from their abundance (Mark 12:41-42). In another parable, the church was compared with an importunate widow who kept demanding that her case be heard. Similarly, the church must persistently pray for eschatological justice, the redressing of all wrongs against her (Luke 18:1-8).

There is much more at the link. It seems that if the widow had no able bodied or willing sons, it often happened that she could not work the land well enough to retain it, which is why she is often classed with the landless immigrant.

Things are not so different now. From the US Social Security Office of Policy, we learn

Despite increased labor force participation rates among women and reforms under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, widowhood remains an important risk factor for transition into poverty, although somewhat less so than 20 years ago. Women widowed at younger ages are at greatest risk for economic hardship after widowhood, and their situation declines with the duration of widowhood. We also find that women in households that are least prepared financially for widowhood are at greatest risk of a husband’s death, because of the strong relationship between mortality and wealth.

James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). The Widow’s Mite

It’s worse for most women who divorce or are divorced from their husbands. They endure an immediate and often permanent plunge in their socio-economic status.

Divorce makes men – and particularly fathers – significantly richer. When a father separates from the mother of his children, according to new research, his available income increases by around one third. Women, in contrast, suffer severe financial penalties. Regardless of whether she has children, the average woman’s income falls by more than a fifth and remains low for many years. (Source: The Guardian, Men Become Richer after Divorce)

In one of the most tender scenes in the Bible, Jesus cared for His mother while He was suffering on the cross. He knew He was going to die of course. Presumably His foster father Joseph had already passed on. At the opening of the essay I’d shared the verse from John 19:26-27, when Jesus committed His mother to John the disciple and John took her in “that very hour.”

Have you ever wondered why Jesus did not speak to one of His brothers? He had brothers and sisters, that is a biblical fact.

Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. (Mark 6:3)

So why, then, did Jesus arrange for His mother to be housed with John, and not immediate family of James, Joses, Judas, or Simon? Likely it was because his half-brothers did not yet believe in Him. (John 7:5). In His agony, every breath a struggle, He commanded John to take in His mother, whom He addressed with an honorific of “Woman.”

MacArthur’s Commentary on John states,

Even as He was dying, bearing man’s sin and God’s wrath, Jesus selflessly cared for those whom He loved. (cf. 13:1, 34, 15:9, 13) Evidently His earthly father, Joseph, was already dead.  The Lord could not commit Mary into the care of His half brothers, the children of Mary and Joseph, since they were not yet believers (7:5). They did not become believers in Jesus until after His resurrection (Acts 1:14, cf.1 Cor. 15:7, thought he James referred to in that verse may be the Apostle James). 

Therefore He entrusted her to John, he became as a son to her in His place, and from that hour he took her into his own household. This may seem a very mundane thing to be concerned about in His hour of greatest sacrifice, but the beauty of the Savior’s love and compassion for His widowed mother, in the face of His own excruciating pain, reflects His love for His own.

Widow’s Walk, by Maja Lindberg Source

There are many tender scenes in the Bible where women are honored, cared for, healed, loved, and honored. Hagar, badly mistreated, received a visit from a pre-incarnate Jesus who gently spoke to her in her hour of need. The Woman at the Well, a sinner shunned by her townsmen, was given the privilege of a personal evangelistic moment with Jesus one-on-one. He did not rail at her for her sins, not like He did the Pharisees, but instead simply told her everything she ever did, revealed Himself to her as Messiah, and offered Living Water. After Eve sinned along with Adam, we read in Genesis 3:21 that God personally made skins from animals and clothed her (and Adam). And once again I refer to the quote above from the Bible Dictionary about the Lord’s extolling of widows such as Anna, the persistent widow, and the widow with the mite.

His eye is on the sparrow. (Matthew 10:29). It is on the actual tiny, insignificant sparrow but it is also on the metaphorical sparrow, the small and insignificant widow dwelling in poverty and hanging on to the lowest rung of the socio-economic ladder. We have a good and gracious God whose eye sees all, knows all, and cares for those who love Him.

Exalt His mighty name today, His care is unparalleled. If you are grieving a lost, widowed and feeling marginalized, insignificant, sad and hidden, fear not. Our wonderful Lord is watching out for you. If His pain on the cross did not stop Him from arranging care for Mary, His mother, you can be sure He is arranging good and gracious care for you at this moment.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. (Luke 12:6)

I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. (Psalm 37:25)

Posted in dignity, sin, weaker vessel, widows, women

Our roles as woman in the faith: We are vulnerable to satan in specific ways. Part 1

This is a three part series about women in the faith. In this part I’ll show from scripture that women have particular vulnerabilities to satan. We will look at what those are and how to avoid being used by satan to bring shame on the family and slander to the faith.

In the second part I’ll look at where the modern woman is doing her dark work against Jesus: it’s not just inside the church anymore. Mommy bloggers and online amateur theologians have grown to be an enormous network outside the church and thus often operate outside their husband’s watchful eye and usually outside their pastor’s eye. Much mischief happens on mommy blogs and amateur online theologian platforms and satan uses these to filter back to the church, to our detriment. I myself am in the amateur online theologian category so definitely don’t take what I write at face value but test it.

Third, I’ll look at the most famous female false prophet, heretic, and worker of iniquity today: Joyce Meyer. Meyer is representative of the female false teacher doing very much harm to the women of the church. Under her umbrella are women like Beth Moore, Anne Voskamp, Kim Walker Smith, and other newcomers who are spiritual daughters of Meyer and Moore and are being used by satan in exploitation of the particular vulnerabilities I will show in part 1.

Would they target a Christian book to men titled
“Eat the hot dog, buy the tie”? I think not
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In the bible there are groups of men listed and also individual men listed by name who were causing dissension or harm to the faith. Of the groups, Paul rebuked the Circumcision group (Galatians 2:11-14) and Jesus rebuked the Nicolaitans. (Revelation 2:6). Paul also names individual men who he rebuked or wrote about in a negative light,

  • Demas who left the faith, an apostate (2 Timothy 4:10).
  • Phygelus and Hermogenes who deserted Paul, apostates both. (2 Timothy 1:15).
  • Alexander the metalworker, he did Paul harm and opposed the message of Christ. (2 Timothy 4:14).
  • Hymenaeus and Philetus, irreverent babblers, leading people into ungodliness (2 Timothy 2:17, 1 Timothy 1:20).
  • Alexander made a shipwreck of his faith and handed over with Hymenaeus to satan to be taught not to blaspheme (1 Timothy 1:20). Unsure if this is the same Alexander as above or a different Alexander (a very common name then, as was Mary).
  • Diotrephes, rebuked by John, a man who “who likes to put himself first,” “speaks wicked nonsense” and “does not recognize our authority” (3 John 1:10).

Not to be outdone, women are named too. Jesus names a group in Revelation 2:20, a false prophetess named ‘Jezebel’ and her followers. She is a false teacher whom Jesus said He will throw into a permanent sickbed in hell if she did not repent.

In 2 John 1:4-11, John gently corrects a specific but unnamed woman who needs to watch herself, to walk in love, and to refuse to receive false teachers into her house.

Albert Edelfelt (1854–1905) Women of Ruokolahti outside the Church

Another general group receiving a warning are Gossiping widows. They are a group named in a negative light. GotQuestions explains,

Another group who were (and still are today) known for indulging in gossip is widows. Paul cautions widows against entertaining the habit of gossip and of being idle. These women are described as “gossips and busybodies, saying things they ought not to” (1 Timothy 5:12-13). Because women tend to spend a lot of time in each other’s homes and work closely with other women, they hear and observe situations which can become distorted, especially when repeated over and over. Paul states that widows get into the habit of going from home to home, looking for something to occupy their idleness.

Younger widows also were mentioned in a mild rebuke because of their potential to give the adversary an occasion for slander. These women are loaded with passions and “some have already strayed after Satan.” (1 Corinthians 7:9; 1 Timothy 5:14-15)

Women in general were told to remain silent in the churches, especially regarding tongues, interpretation of tongues, and prophesying. This is the section where Paul was rebuking the Corinthians for having disorderly services, and women were a large part of the reason the services had become chaotic. (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)

Women who were specifically named were Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2-3). These women were causing disunity due to their disagreement with each other. Paul asked his loyal yokefellow to help these woman agree in the Lord.

You notice that there is a general difference between the men listed and the women. The men were mostly false believers. They tended not to be in the body of Christ. You notice stern warnings of the men, who were all obvious heretics and shunned or told to be put out. (One exception is that Paul rebuked Peter and of course Peter was a true believer. Alternately Paul rebuked a demon possessed slave girl and of course who was a false professor of the faith).

The women who are mentioned, however, were mostly believers in the church. Their spiritual crime caused disruption, division, and chaos in church circles. Gossip, idleness, and easily being drawn into false teaching were the issues at play here.

“Galicnik Wedding by Marjan Lazarevski” A Macedonian bride. CC

Women are the weaker vessel. (1 Peter 3:7). Some women are weaker than others. (2 Timothy 3:6). Satan attacked the woman, Eve, first, didn’t he? Genesis 3:1 says that satan was the craftiest creature in the garden. That means he didn’t just come up with a spur of the moment plot and threw spaghetti at the wall to see what would happen as he chatted with Eve. Crafty means “clever at achieving one’s aims by indirect or deceitful methods.” Crafty means that Satan had a method in place, he thought about it for a while, watched Adam and Eve, and came up with a plan. Point number one on his plan was “Approach the woman.”

Knowing this, satan sends false teachers who have the appearance of godliness but denying its power, to seduce women with their false doctrines.

He also uses women in their vulnerability (the younger ones with passion and the elder ones with gossip and slander) to spread discord and gangrenous doctrines.

He targets the women and he uses the women. So, how can women avoid being used by satan who wants to exploit our vulnerability?

First, recognize ourselves as weaker. (1 Peter 3:7).

Labeled for reuse

Second, submit to authority. If married, submit to husbands. Raise your children. If having a question, ask the husband outside of church services. Wives should adorn their husbands as a jewel, busy herself with the home, and remain quiet. (1 Timothy 5:14, Ephesians 5:22, Titus 2:5, 1 Corinthians 14:34). Doing these things will not give satan as much of an opportunity to exploit your vulnerability.

In the same vein, elder widows with children or grandchildren should “show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.” (1 Timothy 5:4)

Elder widows without family should “set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day,” (1 Timothy 5:5). Anna did this and was revered for it. (Luke 2:37-38).

Third, be busy. Elder widows should be “having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.” (1 Timothy 5:10). 1 Timothy 5:13 speaks ill of idle women, so keeping one’s self spiritually busy in true service will also stave off satanic attacks and keep us thriving on the narrow path.

A silly woman at Mard Gras, by acedout. CC

Fourth, rein in passions. Younger widows tend to be passionate and flighty. They set their minds on marriage again so Paul said they should marry. (1 Timothy 5:11).

Self-indulgence in women is severely rebuked. Paul said “she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives” (1 Timothy 5:6). Idleness is rebuked because it tends toward disruptiveness (1 Thessalonians 5:14; 2 Thessalonians 3:11).

Women loaded with passions have a huge target on their back. Paul wrote, “For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,” (2 Timothy 3:6). So obviously one way to remain spiritually fit and stave off satan’s wiles is to repent frequently when we do sin and resist sin when it presents itself.

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I hope these words help you, whether you’re a young wife or an elder widow. Women are women, and we all have the same vulnerability in our weakness to satan and his attacks. These attacks don’t hurt merely the family, they disrupt the church, as we saw with Euodia and Syntyche, the disorderly prophesiers, and the idle widows. Pettiness, idleness, gossip, slander, division seem to be the unique set of negative characteristics we possess in our sinful state that Jesus revealed to us women. He gracefully shows us through scripture how to combat this. In so doing, we can receive high commendations from our Father, our Lord, our Comforter!

In Proverbs 31:30-31 it says, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.”

Proverbs 3:15-18 “She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed.”

Judge Mary Margaret Bartelme,
a most dignified woman. WikiCC

Widow Anna was commended. Mary was called favored by God. (Luke 1:28). Eunice and Lois were commended by Paul as having great faith and raising Timothy well. (2 Timothy 1:5, 2 Timothy 3:14). Dorcas was lauded for all her good works and charities. When Dorcas died, “All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them.” (Acts 9:39b). “All” the widows! Dorcas was loved, and when she died, many pleaded with Paul to raise her to life. If you were to die, would all the women in your circle cry and beg for you to be returned to life? Or would they be relieved to see you go? In Dorcas’ busy-ness I am sure that satan had little opportunity to worm his way in and cause her to bring shame to the church.

Please ponder these things. Check the scriptures and test all that I’ve said. We have an important role to play, that much is obvious. Satan wants to use us in disrupting the church and be a carrier of false doctrine in our silliness and rebellion. That can easily become our role if we do not pay attention. Our role should be an important work for Jesus in unifying the church when we repent of our sins, and stay on our God-given path. Let us please Him as His precious women of faith, working and striving and contending and being a helpmeet to the men in our lives, whether they are fathers, husbands, or pastors.

___________________

Further reading

What does it mean that women are the weaker vessel

Bible Gateway: All the Women of the Bible

Essay: Widows in the church, part 1

Should you leave a church if it has a woman pastor? 

The Proverbs 31 Woman 

Posted in bible, widows

Care of widows

The bible speaks a lot about widows. It speaks of orphans and the poor and oppressed, too, but this blog entry is about widows. (Left, LeMoyne engravings, Mourning Widows, 1500s)

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a compassionate, loving, detail oriented God. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9a). He knows each person on earth, and loves His believers fiercely.

In His book, the Holy Bible, there are so many verses which speak to how we are to treat those who are the vulnerable of society. In the Old Testament there are 56 verses about widows, and 26 verses in the New Testament. His care and attention to widows is tremendously beautiful.That is because widows had a rough, rough time.

“Words that occur in the general semantic field of the term “widow” in the Bible shed light on both her personal experience and social plight. Weeping (Job 27:15 ; Psalm 78:64), mourning (2 Sam 14:2), and desolation (Lam 1:1) describe her personal experience after the loss of her spouse. Poverty (Ruth 1:21 ; 1 Kings 17:7-12 ; Job 22:9) and indebtedness (2 Kings 4:1) were all too often descriptive of her financial situation, when the main source of her economic support, her husband, had perished. Indeed, she was frequently placed alongside the orphan and the landless immigrant (Exod 22:21-22 ; Deuteronomy 24:17 Deuteronomy 24:19 Deuteronomy 24:20-21) as representative of the poorest of the poor (Job 24:4 ; 29:12 ; 31:16 ; Isa 10:2) in the social structure of ancient Israel, as well as in the ancient Near East. With minimal, if any, inheritance rights, she was often in a “no-man’s land.” She had left her family, and with her husband’s death the bond between her and his family was tenuous.”

Huebner, Mourning Widow

“[T]the loss of a husband in ancient Israel was normally a social and economic tragedy. In a generally patriarchal culture, the death of a husband usually meant a type of cultural death as well. Although the denotation of widow referred to a woman whose husband had died, because of the social context the word quickly acquired the connotation of a person living a marginal existence in extreme poverty. The widow reacted with grief to her plight, and probably wore a distinct garb as a sign of her status (Genesis 38:14 Genesis 38:19; 2 Sam 14:2; cf. Judith 8:5-6; 10:3; 16:8). Disillusionment and bitterness could easily result (Ruth 1:20-21). Her crisis was aggravated if she had no able-bodied children to help her work the land of her dead spouse. To provide for her children, to maintain the estate, and to continue payments on debts accrued by her husband imposed severe burdens. Since she was in an extremely vulnerable economic position, she became the prime target of exploitation. The fact that she was classed with the landless stranger and Levite indicates that she was often unable to keep her husband’s land. (source)

This status has not changed very much over the centuries. Despite the veneer of feminism, women who are unattached through divorce or widowhood often discover they are sliding down a slope toward poverty, which this Canadian research confirms.

Many aged widows experience a decline in their standard of living upon widowhood, a pattern which is pronounced among those with limited education. Aged, 21% below the poverty line, 22% below the poverty line if have a child in care, 36% under the poverty line if disabled. (source)

“Five years down the road, median income had fallen for both widows and senior women who remained married. Among widows, median family income had declined 9.8% more than 6 times greater than the senior women who were not widowed. The study also found that not only did the standard of living for these widows decline, but more of them also fell below the low-income threshold as a result of widowhood. And once these widows were in low-income, it was very difficult for them to climb out.” Statistics Canada, 2004, The Economic Consequences of Widowhood, 1990-2001.

And widows in Third World nations fare worse.

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Source

“In many conservative Indian Hindu families, widows are shunned because they’re seen as bringing bad luck. Superstitious relatives even blame them for their husband’s death. The widow can become a liability with no social standing, an unwanted mouth to feed. Often they’re cast out of the family home,” said foreign correspondent Trevor Bormann in a recent June, 2007 interview with Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Dr. Mohini V. Giri, for the ABC – Australian Broadcasting Corporation.”

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“In the hours after James Mbewe was laid to rest three years ago, in an unmarked grave not far from here, his 23-year-old wife, Fanny, neither mourned him nor accepted visits from sympathizers. Instead, she hid in his sister’s hut, hoping that the rest of her in-laws would not find her.  But they hunted her down, she said, and insisted that if she refused to exorcise her dead husband’s spirit, she would be blamed every time a villager died. So she put her two small children to bed and then forced herself to have sex with James’s cousin.  “I cried, remembering my husband,” she said. “When he was finished, I went outside and washed myself because I was very afraid. I was so worried I would contract AIDS and die and leave my children to suffer.”  Here [Malawi] and in a number of nearby nations including Zambia and Kenya, a husband’s funeral has long concluded with a final ritual: sex between the widow and one of her husband’s relatives, to break the bond with his spirit and, it is said, save her and the rest of the village from insanity or disease. Widows have long tolerated it, and traditional leaders have endorsed it, as an unchallenged tradition of rural African life.”  (source)

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“In the eastern province of Shandong, a sixty-five-year-old widow had to find work on a construction site in order to pay off medical debts accumulated during her husband’s long illness. The labour contractor for the project promised her 6,000 yuan for her back-breaking work but after 82 days on the job, she had not received a single cent. … I couldn’t move the big stones, so I moved the small ones. I got tired using the wheel-barrow to move soil, so I only filled half of it each time. I had to use a big shovel to mix the cement, starting from the middle and slowly mixing it bit by bit. By night-time, my whole body was hurting, especially my waist, the pain was so bad that I couldn’t sleep.” (source)

The Lord is a caring Lord, and He loves His widows.

–“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” (Psalm 68:5)

–“The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” (Psalm 146:9)

–“Leave your fatherless children; I will keep them alive; and let your widows trust in me.” Jeremiah 49:11

We are reminded of the Lord’s compassion in reading about the widow of Nain, an event recorded in Luke’s Gospel.

“Soon afterward he went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and a considerable crowd from the town was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother.” (Luke 7:11-17)

Gill’s Exposition says, “she was a widow; and if she had been supported by her son, her loss was very considerable; and having neither husband, nor son, to do for her, her case was very affecting… And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her,…. Knowing her case, that she was a widow, and had lost her only son: and said unto her, weep not; signifying, that he would help her, which he did without being asked to do it, as usual in other cases…. and he delivered him to his mother; for whose sake he raised him from the dead, commiserating her case: wherefore, as Christ showed his power in raising the dead man, he discovered great humanity, kindness, and tenderness, in delivering him alive to his mother; which might be done after he came off of the bier, by taking him by the hand, and leading him to his mother, and giving him up into her arms: think what affecting scene this must be!”

As for widows in the New Testament, they were prominent. “It was no accident that one of the poorest of the poor, Anna, was privileged to greet the infant Messiah (Luke 2:36-38). The adult Jesus followed in the footsteps of his prophetic predecessors with his concern for the plight of the widow. He healed a widow’s son because of compassion for his mother (something we just looked at in the story of the Widow of Nain, above,); he protested the exploitation of widows (Mark 12:40). He reversed the standards by which people were judged with the parable of the widow’s tithe: the widow gave from her poverty while the wealthy merely offered from their abundance (Mark 12:41-42). In another parable, the church was compared with an importunate widow who kept demanding that her case be heard.” (source)

If you have a friend or relative who is grieving the loss of a husband, as I do, think on how the Lord cares for His widows. It is a beautiful thing.

But think of this, too. In the first days of the unfortunate loss, the widow will be in a whirlwind of activity to make arrangements, perform duties, and getting through the initial push. After that, she will return to work, or her whatever her routine is, and her mind and heart will be occupied with making adjustments there and in dealing with her return. This second stage may continue for a while.

But then, after months have gone by, something will happen. She will realize as the dust had settled, months later, that she is alone. The “activity” will have returned to a routine level and she will not have that to distract her any more. Her brain will suddenly one day understand at a more conscious level that she is alone. And her aloneness is not going to change.

Maggie Smith as character Lady Violet on the BBC Production Downton Abbey, made a comment that speaks to this. She said “Parenting…the on and on-ness of it.”

Widows one day wake up and realize, “loneliness, the on and on-ness of it.” Things at that point get bleak, but there is hope. If the woman is a Christian, she will be encouraged at whatever stage of grief she is in. Please help her in the early days and the middle days and in the days when she makes her final re-adjustment to her status. Help her financially too. This also is a biblical command.

Though the Lord looks out for His widows, we are His ambassadors on earth. In this day and age, the Lord takes care of His widows through His church, and that means us. Please make a point to seek out a widow in your church, make sure she is not marginalized. See to it that she has food and her necessities are taken care of.

The Lord cares for the vulnerable of His society so He made provision for them in His word. (1 Timothy 5:1-16). He is a great and gracious Lord who overlooks no injustice against them. He loves His people deeply. We have a perfect friend, defender, and Groom, don’t we?!