Depending on their worldview, some people tend to see things differently than other people. Let’s talk about widows.
The Bible, in both Testaments, has admonitions to care for widows. Frequently the admonitions are in the context of justice- care for those who due to their circumstances need extra help. It’s not a blanket statement that says that if you’re a widow the church has to take care of you. Those who can care for themselves should, and if there are believing family members, the responsibility falls on them before the church should be expected to assume the burden. The Psalmist tells us that God is a ‘defender of widows’ (Ps 68:5), and in Deuteronomy (14:29) we read that the widows will come and eat and be satisfied.
In the New Testament there are also references, Paul, writing to Titus, says that family members should put their religion in to practice, and one of the ways they can do so is by caring for widowed mothers and grandmothers. The Apostle James took it one step further: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”(James 1:27)
In our country there are many widows who live fulfilling lives after the death of their husband. They have a pension or continue to work. They might volunteer in their communities, or travel. Sure they miss their husbands, and they have to change their life style. Some don’t like being alone and so they remarry. Others take advantage of the many social programs available in our society. The point is they aren’t shunned as they are in some societies.
In parts of Asia a widow may be blamed for her husband’s death and even abandoned by her own family! In addition to losing her husband, there is often collateral damage involving a loss of self-respect, security, dignity, and hope. A widow is often seen as unlucky, and might even be blamed for the death of her husband. She is cursed!
She may be evicted from her home, even by her adult children and left to beg in the streets to make a living. No wonder so many contemplate suicide- they want to end the shame, a shame that is obvious because widows don’t wear colorful saris, they wear a plain white one, and so everyone knows about their situation. And no one wants to be around someone who is cursed, who brings bad luck.
As Gospel for Asia-supported workers minister among these widows, providing them with food, clothing, and education for their children and sources of livelihood in Jesus' name, these precious women discover that love and hope did not die with their husbands after all. You can further impact their lives with your prayers: