Caring for Widows
Strong’s Concordance defines a widow, as a woman lacking a husband, literally or figuratively. This definition brought to mind the “widows” of inmates. We see them weekly visiting their husbands or attending family builder programs. Our chaplains receive their tearful phone calls to notify an inmate that a loved one has died or been involved in a terrible accident. These widows are left behind, living on one income, and struggling emotionally and financially.
During the Christmas season a few years ago, one mother brought her children for a special program with their father. They heard the story of the birth of Christ and the children received gifts the father had selected from community donations. As the mother was leaving she hugged me and then began to cry. Through her tears, I learned she had lost her job that week and couldn’t buy gifts for the children. She was living on one income and emotionally distraught trying to hold life together.
God calls us to care for the widows. James 1:27 says, Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. Could it be in caring for widows, we are reminded of God’s care for us?
At Forsyth Jail & Prison Ministries, our staff and volunteers encourage and minister to widows. We invite you to think of ways God may be calling you to visit the widows in your church or our ministry.
Jone Reid, Church & Community Coordinator