As I sat down and began to brainstorm about what to write for this blog post my brain immediately thought, “Maybe I should write a how-to about showing love to orphans and widows.” Or a “6 steps to being there for someone recently widowed.” It all felt too cheap and cheesy like a bad Pinterest site. That’s when I realized the story from Luke 10:38-42 was the perfect thing for this post, something practical.
I have a similar story. No, I wasn’t hurrying around my house, getting frustrated while my sister sat at the feet of Jesus, but nonetheless one that my heart relates to.
A month and a half after graduating high school I went on a weeklong mission trip with my church to La Represa, Dominican Republic. While I was there we built fences around the home of some of our missionaries we had there, built them goat pens, and also, my team personally, built a goat pen for a widowed women. I loved this project! I’m the type of person that loves to build things with my hands and have a finished project to admire.
Many other people on the trip chose to walk around the village and meet the people and minister to them, but not me. Everyday we could choose, I chose to go back to this goat pen. Looking back now, I’m well aware that my five foot three stature probably wasn’t much help to the project as a whole, but I was determined.
I thought this was the only way for me to show my love to this women, by giving her something she could use well after our team was gone, but that’s when the Lord stepped in to show me how wrong I was.
The third day of building this goat pen, a group of little, barely clothed Dominican children came and wanted to play and help. Well me being so sure of myself, at first found the children in the way and didn’t fully appreciate their presence until our workday was almost over.
The day was almost over and the pen was built and the team I was on was exhausted but we found ourselves full of happiness from playing with the children in the shade of the widow’s house and seeing her standing in the back door of her home with a sense of thankfulness and joy on her face.
That’s when it hit me. The work our team did wasn’t the only way for us or even me personally to make a difference; it was simply being there and giving up time when we could have been in our own air-conditioned homes back in America.
My advice on ways to love on and care for orphans or widows is not a six steps list or a “how-to,” it’s just to simply give your time and attention. Showing someone the love they need can be as simple as just giving someone your undivided attention for 30 minutes. Love always and unconditionally the way Christ loves us.