We seek to help elderly widows who are living with chronic health issues, and who have limited resources because God has called us to do so and it brings Him glory. Widows are often overlooked, forgotten and neglected. This was true in the days of the early church (see Acts 6) and it is true today. God's word has so much to say to us about taking care of widows. There are more than 75 Bible scriptures that talk about widows. James 1:27 says that pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for widows in their distress. In 1 Kings 17 the first person raised from the dead in the Bible was the son of a widow. In Luke 7 the first person Jesus raised from the dead was the son of a widow. While Jesus was dying on the cross he looked at the disciple John and instructed him to care for his widowed mother. Why wouldn't Jesus have appointed one of his brothers? Is it possible that because at that time even his own brothers did not in believe Him (see John 7), and that He was showing us that it is the body of Christ's responsibility and privilege to care for our widow sisters? In the Old Testament when we read about God instructing His people to live holy lives He instructs them to care for the widow (Deuteronomy 10, 24, 26). When God is rebuking them and bringing punishment upon the Israelite people, it is often because one of their many sins includes neglecting the widow (Deuteronomy 27, Isaiah 1, Isaiah 10, Jeremiah 22, Ezekiel 22, Malachi 3). In Isaiah 54:5 God Himself declares that when a husband dies, He will Himself become the husband to the widow. In Psalm 68:5 God declares that He is the Defender of the widow. It is clear that Jehovah Sabaoth, AKA The Lord of Heaven's Armies, has a very special and unique place in His heart for widows.
Genesis 1:27 says that God created human beings, male and female, in His own image to be a reflection of Himself. Then in Genesis 2:18 we are given a little more information about why God made human beings, male and female. He says that it was not good for man to be alone. Genesis 2:24 explains God's purpose in creating human beings, male and female. It says "this explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one." Together they best reflect the image of God and that is the main reason why it was not good for man to be alone. Jesus says in Mark 10:9 "let no one split apart what God has joined together" because the image and glory of God is at stake. The apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, further explains to us in Ephesians 5:31-32, "As the Scriptures say, 'A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one." So the primary reason that a man and a woman are united as one flesh in the marriage covenant is so that they can reflect the image of God and the relationship that exists between Christ and His bride, the church. No wonder God is fiercely passionate about caring for widows. When a widow is left alone, abandoned and neglected it is the very image of God that is dishonored.
The 2020 US Census Bureau reported that widows account for 30% of all older women, with more than three times as many widows as widowers, and that 55% of all women over the age of 85 live alone. Many people believe that widows are already being taken care of by the government, the healthcare system, retirement funds, and family members. However, this is simply NOT true. According to the Administration on Aging, there are wide disparities in the economic and physical welfare of elderly widows. Current census data shows that more than 5.8 million older adults in the US live at or below the poverty level, and older adults are at the highest risk for complicated chronic health issues. The state of Alabama consistently allocates fewer funds towards home and community based services compared to all other states; and, Alabama has ranked in the bottom five states since the beginning of the AARP long-term score card report. In 2019 the National Center for Elder Abuse reported that each year more than two million older adults become victims to abuse, neglect and exploitation; and, adults over the age of 75 have the highest suicide rate. In 2010 Alabama's elderly population was projected to grow by 82.4% before 2040, meaning that the number of widows living alone with complicated healthcare, spiritual, mental and social needs is drastically increasing.
Widows need to be reminded that they are loved and invaluable to God, that they still have purpose in life and that Jesus will never forsake them, and that the promises of God will never fail them. Therefore, for the glory of God we go to care for the widow in her distress and time of need.