Sitting on the dirty, dry clay ground—my heart was full. Children fighting over my lap. Pouring into these precious children that we have loved so filled my heart–there was no other place in that moment I would rather be. I even forgot about “my own” back home as I loved them. I longed to bring them all home…or to pick up my family and come here forever…as if that could fix the years of poverty and pain…who do I think I am anyway? As I sat longer—I saw little pain. Happiness, joy and freedom seem to be alive here. I heard more joy in their laughter than the children in my own country. And it hit me. They were exactly where they needed to be. A world of materialism, different language and culture wouldn’t make their worlds any better. Maybe worse. These precious dirty-foot children had the face of need, but need that could so easily be met if James 1:27 be put into true action. What were we called to do…REALLY?
As the children braided my hair and fought over my hands—the widow, stood back and watched. Suddenly, the laughter seemed foggy and it was as if I could read her mind. I died to my own selfishness of wanting to sit and let those children fill my cup, and I looked at the widow peaking around the corner. Her eyes cried out, “What about me?”
Looking into her eyes—even with a language barrier I could clearly read her heart. “I want to love these children like you do,” she said. “But I can’t. My children can’t be attached to me because I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I will spend my day begging for food, and at night I’ll come back to them and hope to bring something to fill their bellies. I love them like you do. I love them more than you do. You come and love on our children, but what about me?”
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
“Because…like you—we have mommy hearts…”
“Like you…we want to make a difference…”
“Like you…we want to life a full life…to be filled with hope and to be able to provide for our children…”
“I know the orphan may be easier to minister to…but if you will believe in me and love me–I can minister to them TOO…and when you go—I’ll still be here…”
“Just think–what WE could do…if YOU poured into US! Because, like you–we also love our babies. And we long to be able to love them too…”
“You may have heard the numbers—how many of them there are…but it is US who are here to care for them every day…”
“Some of us long to sew—others to cook—some to teach…and if you will visit us—pour into us—and take a chance with us…we JUST MIGHT…be the ones who can make the difference for them…”
“Will you pray about pouring into us?”
Visiting the orphan and widow in their distress, isn’t always easy. But it is the calling for the believer. We are to visit the orphan and widow in their hardship, and give to the poor. What would it look like if we began pouring into the widow, relieving her distress, and empowering HER to serve the children around her? What would it look like if we enabled HER to do ministry and fill her longing to see the children she has loved so greatly around her provided for through her labor? What would it look like if she was given the opportunity to learn and to see that she is able to make change in her world? Does she know she is loved? Does she know the Creator of the Universe wants her heart? How are we loving and pouring into those that are most capable and available to love the least of these? The opportunity to make a difference has always been right there before us. The founder of our organization said to me today, “No one would want to adopt a widow and provide for her…but what IF…”
What if??? Are you in? Would you consider joining us? We believe this is the year to pour into the widows of Wiphan–and it is our hope that others will not only join us—but will even join us to learn how they, too, might start something just like Wiphan in other places througout the world. Maybe serving the orphan—really means serving the widow who can care for the orphan. James 1:27 is often recited over and over for orphan ministries and people with a heart to care for them—but let us not miss the other half…how will we visit and care for the widow in her distress? There is a reason she is there in that verse—and a reason the Lord has her there with the orphan. Open our hands Lord and lead us to follow you—break our heart for what breaks yours.