Sunday, February 10, 2013

Widows' Valentine Luncheon

7:47 p.m. Today's project was to attend my first widows' event, other than the ones I've helped set up and serve for our church's Widows' Might group at Christmas time. One month and 9 days ago, I became a part of a group beloved, cared for and honored by Jesus Himself. God adjured His people to care for widows and orphans in Deuteronomy 10:17-18, taking care to identify Himself in that context--this is who God is, His heart revealed!

For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe. He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow... 

Jesus brought the deceased only son of the Widow of Nain back to life (Luke 7:12):

When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep." Then he came and touched the open coffin, and those who carried him stood still. And he said, "Young man, I say to you, arise." So he who was dead sat up and began to speak. And He presented him to his mother.

In one of Jesus' three scathing denunciations of their treatment of widows, He said of the scribes and Pharisees, in Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47; and here in Matthew 23:14:

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers.Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

In Mark 12:43, Jesus commends to His disciples a widow who put two mites (small copper coins) into the treasury, as opposed to the large offerings of the rich:

Assuredly, I say to you, that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, even her whole livelihood.

And don't forget one of the two righteous people who were able to witness of the Baby Messiah when His parents dedicated Him at the temple at Jerusalem. Luke 2:37 says of Anna the prophetess:

...and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

The Lord has placed me in an honorable state--I might as well own it!

On Friday, a connection was made between an old friend Kim Davis, and her friend Kathy Joliff Potts, a widow who hosts an annual Valentines' luncheon  for widows. A widow herself, she determined five years ago that no widow she knows shall spend a Valentines' day unloved or alone. It was a beautifully decorated, sumptuous affair, with gold chargers under our china plates, cloth napkins, and plenty of red, white and pink decorations. We each were given a handmade card set at our place at the table that reads inside, "Wishing you a happy heart."

After prayer, our icebreaker was to share our favorite food and favorite movie. Many sweet movies were named, but my favorites are a tie between "Lawrence of Arabia" and Pride and Prejudice." Since I couldn't think of any prepared dish, I went with Bacon Avocados as my favorite food.  We spoke about how we met our husbands; our grandchildren amd great-grandchildren, if any; and the next step we desire to take in this new phase of life, encouraging one another in the Lord throughout. I was glad to know that feeling rather vague, fuzzy and forgetful is very common right after losing one's spouse. Such a varied group we were! Some of us went right back to work out of necessity; others went back to help restore a feeling of normalcy. Still others were already retired, and now travel and spend time caring for grandchildren. All are active at church. Having one's kids move back home was a pretty common factor, enjoyable and needful for both parties. 

The saddest part for me was hearing of those whose husbands passed away suddenly with heart attacks, or  the way the youngest woman there lost her husband at age 27 due to a hospital error. I mentioned to the group what Jesus continually shows me: He has set a path of life before us, not of our choosing, but He will use and bless this new life. Others added godly wisdom: "Let Him lead you," and "Spend time doing for others."

The topic came up of one gal who denied herself any happiness or fun for the first few years, because of guilt that she wasn't the one who died [survivor guilt].What a friend told me, I shared with one sister who has the opposite attitude, is at peace, and now plans to travel with her grown granddaughter, " 'Well done, good and faithful servant.' You completed your marriage, cared for your husband until the end, and now the Lord has given you this time to live and enjoy your life." Several others chimed in, "We're not dead yet!" We agreed to let God "take us around the next corner," as one woman put it. I am looking forward to getting to know these new friends more at the group's monthly events.

Lord, I thank you for the compassionate, beautiful group of sisters that You gifted me with today!!

1 comment:

  1. So glad you have this group and this Valentine's event is wonderful. Love your Scripture also.

    When I was a widow, the pastor sent people from the church to help fix things.

    Hugs and prayers,