I’ve always wanted to adopt a child. My heart goes out to the children who would grow up without a real family. But for whatever reason, I never quite felt the calling to actually adopt. And I feel like I somehow missed out on something. I always tell people that if I were relive my life, I’d adopt, a cute little black boy with curly hair would be my choice.
Then I heard this verse on Family Life today in a new way.
“Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” James 1:27
I know this verse and that is one of the reasons I wanted to adopt. But when I heard it today, I heard the word “widows” instead of “orphans”.
I missed out on caring for orphans, but today, I realized God has given me a chance to live out that verse with widows.
My widowed mother-in-law lives with us. I would not choose this situation as I would choose to adopt an orphan. But both of those situations require me to show compassion to someone near the heart of God, that to take care of them is pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father. I did not choose it, but it dawned on me today the graciousness of God in giving me this opportunity.
Widows in Bible times have no means of support without a husband. But in our society today, widows are not destitute. I never thought of them as needy as orphans are needy. After all, they are adults, they’ve lived a long life, they are not vulnerable (nor cute) like children. But as I am now also seeing my widowed father declining in his health, I see the loneliness and struggles that widows and widowers experience, much like orphans.
I wanted to take care of orphans, but God knew that the test of my religion is in taking care of widows. I am learning to live out this verse.