Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 68:4-6, John 14:15-18, 1 Timothy 5:3-16, James 1:27
I am a widower, and I am raising 4 motherless children.
Before my late wife died after a two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer, I was put in contact with a widower. I didn’t have the courage to contact him until the scarlet “widower” title was seared onto my soul. He was my worst fear, and I did not want to have anything in common with him; I did not want any connection at all.
Widowhood thrusts you into a new crowd, a crowd where you are a walking example of every married person’s deepest fear. No matter your age, no one wants to be thrown back to junior high with all the pimples and insecurities and clumsiness. Widowhood is like this; you feel like everything that you built to guide you is now gone.
Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do good, seek justice, correct oppression, bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” To plead the widow’s cause is to treat the grieving with justice and compassion.
The brokenness of the widow and the orphan may not be fully understood unless you have walked their path. But full understanding is not the goal. Compassion for a brokenness you may never know is the goal. This sort of compassion really stretches you beyond what you may feel equipped for, which is what makes this particular kind of hospitality such a great service.
God mentions this particular kind of hospitality numerous times in Scripture. Caring for orphans and widows is close to His heart. He says, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you” (John 14:18).
The fear of the widow and the orphan is that they will only be known as people who have been left and abandoned. The words of Jesus, that He will not leave us, mean more to those who have been left than we can say.
As we make room for orphans and widows, we set a table for those who know more of this broken world than we care to acknowledge. We offer a chair and celebrate that just as Jesus will come to them, we will come to them also. And we come with open ears and broken hearts to listen and grieve with them, and show them there is a place for them.
Written By Jason Tippetts