Our church family has been richly blessed with several widows; my husband and I affectionately call them the “senior sisters.” These ladies have been where I am today and beyond. They have raised children to adulthood and have set a godly example for grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. They have received grace for the deaths of spouses and children, and they have seen the world change around them.
They are wise and witty and spunky. . . and more holy than I think I will be if I live to 100.
With my children and other women in the church, I have been privileged to share many hours of sweet fellowship with the senior sisters. James 1:27 commands God’s people to come alongside widows (“religion that is pure. . .is this: to visit orphans and widows”), but I have found that these saints minister to my own heart much more than I can hope to minister to theirs.
Of course, everyone is busy, and the quiet saints who live alone can be quickly forgotten in the rush of a busy family life. That may be exactly why James reminds us not to forget those who don’t have families---those who aren’t living in the mini-van between carpool and karate, those who don’t cook for a small army every night, those whose phones aren’t constantly buzzing.
We can easily overlook the opportunity for blessing.
We can visit widows with a phone call, a card, even a hug on Sunday morning. We visit them when we send them our children’s drawings and when we bring them before the Throne in prayer. But there is a special sweetness about an actual visit—a face-to-face, hand-in-hand fellowship—with one of God’s precious widows.
For a season of my life, I was privileged to visit the widows of our church every Wednesday afternoon. I had a standing invitation to all ladies of the church to meet at my house at 1PM to make two visits. Any ladies who were available would come, and we’d travel together to the homes of the senior sisters. (Earlier in the week, I’d call to warn the widows of our arrival.)
We’d spend perhaps 30 minutes at each home, sharing news from the church body and hearing their stories, and also spending a moment in prayer together. I brought my children; during one memorable visit, a sweet senior sister served my energetic toddler punch and sherbet in a crystal goblet!
These ladies have given me the long view that my daily Cheerios-and-three-loads-of-laundry routine sometime lacks. My children will grow up, and my husband may go to be with the Lord before I do. I only pray I can be found as faithful in my later years as these dear widows are in theirs.