Day 8

Making Room for Widows and Orphans

Isaiah 1:17, Psalm 68:4-6, John 14:15-18, 1 Timothy 5:3-16, James 1:27

BY Rebecca Faires

The first day I met Gus, he screamed at me. I had lived a quiet life up until that point, and I had never heard screaming like this before. I myself have screamed at swim meets, at being tickled, while riding on roller coasters—but never like this. Gus’s screams terrified me. His eyes were far away and unreasoning. It was like all the unknown in him rushed out of his mouth and straight at me. I wanted to run away from him and back to my quiet life. But I couldn’t run because Gus was going to be my son, and the paperwork was already at the Embassy in Ethiopia. What was I going to do—chicken out because he’s loud?

If we were together and you cared to hear, I would tell you about our adoption of two baby boys from Africa, and how they scared the curse words out of me. (They still scare the horse apples out of me sometimes.) And I would tell you that God has been so gracious and redemptive in our lives. But that’s a long story. So let’s just talk about loving people we are afraid to love, people who maybe scare us because they come from a different place. Honestly, it scares me to love people who are not like me, but it turns out, gospel love isn’t about me anyway. It’s about Jesus and how He loves.

Hospitality is uncomfortable. There are people who make me want to run. To a certain degree, we all like a quiet, settled life. I mean, it’s easier to remain comfy and contented with the people we’re used to, rather than to engage with those we don’t know anything about. It can feel awkward, even risky, reaching out to people who are different, whose lives seem so dissimilar to our own.

This is the heart of hospitality: finding people on the margins and bringing them in. Remember in Psalm 68, David praises the Lord because He “provides homes for those who are deserted” (v.6). “He defends the rights of the fatherless” (Isaiah 1:17). But this hospitality extends well beyond adoption or caring for widows. God has given us so many ways to reach out to the solitary, those who’ve been deserted.

The first step to hospitality is one of obedience: we must bring people in. This obedience helps us form soup kitchens, deliver casseroles, care for widows and orphans, and welcome people into our homes. But this is only the first step. Because once we have invited people in, we are called to love them the way Christ loved us.

In the book of Zephaniah we see this exquisite mystery:

The LORD your God is among you,
a warrior who saves.
He will rejoice over you with gladness.
He will be quiet in his love.
He will delight in you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

Our heavenly Father rejoices over us with singing! And because we are called to imitate Christ, we can’t just stop at going through the motions and serving folks soup once a year or when convenient. We are called to rejoice over others with singing; to love them.

Making this jump on our own is impossible. The only way to change our hearts is to submit them to Christ. Pray with me today that God would teach us hospitality toward widows and orphans and all those on the margins—and not only hospitality, but love.

Post Comments (134)

134 thoughts on "Making Room for Widows and Orphans"

  1. Candice Lofton says:

    Thank you God, that you give us strength to love the uncomfortable and unpopular. Lord, strengthen my heart to love with a costly love.

  2. M says:

    The teachings in the Bible on caring for widows have been difficult for me to read for the last few years. After my father died 5 years ago my mother became involved with a man she is not married to, and they have been living together for several years, but are not married. He’s not a bad person, though I can’t say that I especially like him, but that isn’t really the issue. My mom always taught me that it was wrong with have sex with or live with a partner before marriage, and when I met my husband she directly forbade us from doing so. She is a dedicated, saved Christian. I tried lovingly confronting her about this sin, but she has used the excuse that, because she is 63 and no longer able to conceive, the rules about widows don’t apply to her. She says that God only designed these rules to prevent children from being born with unwed parents. I’m not without sympathy or understanding why she made the choice, and I’m not without sin in this area either. I love my mom dearly, and I’d like to think that I don’t treat her any differently because of her choice, but it hurts to see her denying what she knows to be God’s desires for her life. I’m no longer confronting her about this, but I still pray that God will get through to her. I would appreciate prayer for this as well.

  3. NanaK says:

    My husband and I have had the opportunity to provide a meal once a month for a Women’s Shelter in our county. The women are from various walks of life; some are there for assistance with a pregnancy; some have left abusive relationships, and all of them are in need of Jesus’ love. Though it is often inconvenient to serve, it is always a blessing. If your community doesn’t have something like this, there may be a group for foster families that provides meals on occasion. Or as others have mentioned prayer is always something we can all do.
    Lord, help me to be your hands and feet and see those in need with your eyes and your heart. But by the grace of God, it isn’t me….thank you Lord for saving me from despair.

  4. Angela says:

    This comes at at time where my husband and I have really been praying that God would show us when and if we should pursue doing foster care. We have two young children and the youngest was just born in December so we don’t know when God will have us start, but we do feel called to foster. Would you all consider praying for us?

    1. Cathy Saik says:

      My prayers are with you as you discern God’s will. You already have such a loving, giving desire, you will be an awesome foster parent! Blessings to you.

    2. B F says:

      My husband and I are the same. We just started our foster classes last week and found out we are pregnant with our 3rd today. We are praying about whether to continue pursuing this right now or hold off. I will be lifting you and your family up in prayer as well. ♥️

    3. Kelly Nash says:

      We are on week 7 of our first foster kid. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it when it’s the right time for your family. I will be praying for you!

  5. Brooks LeeLaCombe says:

    My prayer is to love like Jesus! Teach me Jesus to see people like you would have me see them and love them like you would have me to love them!

  6. Andrea Bolaños says:

    I am so very thankful for this study. It’s challenging and real. I am especially thankful for today’s thoughts as I have served full time in orphan care for the last ten years. It is so very challenging.

    So if you are just getting your feet wet in the spiritual discipline of hospitality, one easy way to grow in that are is praying for those who work with orphans, foster parents, adoption agents, and missionaries. I know I would appreciate any prayers one is willing to give. Making room is just the beginning.

    1. Elizabeth S says:

      Praying for you Andrea! The work you are doing is glorifying God and the little ones you reach out to daily are blessed by your generous heart.

      1. Andrea Bolaños says:

        That is very kind. Thank you.

  7. Victoria Rae says:

    I have a hard time loving those who don’t love. If someone is unkind to others I want to disassociate myself, but they too need love.

  8. Annie K says:

    One group of people that comes to mind here is prostitutes, drug addicts, and homeless people. We look down on people without realizing the hells they’ve been in their whole lives. May God help us to be the home they’ve always longed for.

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