Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Widows and religion

Have you read a passage of scripture that was written in the negative and thought, "How does this passage apply to my life?" Other than a brief acknowledgement of its truth, you shrug your shoulders and move on.

But these passages have a way of being elevated into your life through trials like the death of a father. Take 1 Timothy 5:8, for instance. Other than to watch my mother and father care for their mothers in their declining years, I never gave much though to the meaning of Paul's instruction to the young preacher Timothy:
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever (1 Timothy 5:8)
The need to "provide for his own" is one truth that brings out one's faith in God. It's the manifestation of that truth this is used to reveal how thoroughly you have embraced your faith. This is especially true when your mother's widowhood is thrust upon you a little faster than desired.

I'm certain these past 18 months since dad's death have impacted myself and my brothers and sisters in different ways. We've all cried at various times since the funeral. And I'm sure that the five, along with our spouses and children, miss dad very much.

But I'm certain of one thing. We all help provide for mom with the skills that God has given us. While it's been a blessing to mom that her three sons live within driving distance, I can never discount the comfort my sisters give mom through their daily phone calls and frequent trips to Diamond Springs.

It doesn't matter if one mows the lawn, another repairs a leaky water faucet or someone leaves a dozen homemade soups in the freezer. Mom appreciates every phone call, every selfless act and every meal. She's expressed these past months that these actions -- all inspired by our love for her -- helped her cope with the loss of her beloved.

God's truth is often brought out in small ways. It's these expressions of faith that please God. James said, "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble ...." (James 1:27).

You may not be faced with the loss of a parent at this stage in your life. But you don't have to wait until your father dies to start practicing of your religion. Start by helping your mother and father today. One day, your mother will be a widow.

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