“Let that true religion still support you. What it has done—it can still do. It has proved to you its reality and its power—still trust it as the anchor of your soul, sure and steadfast. If it prevented you from sinking, when the shock came first upon you, it can do the same through every future stage of your solitary journeying, and every future scene of your now unshared sorrow.” – The Widow Directed to the Widow’s God by John Angell James, 1841
Such good advice, and like much advice, not always easy to follow. In the weeks after Chuck’s death I was so busy with paperwork and decisions that I just kept going full steam. I had to. Now, as things have settled down, finances have worked out, decisions have been made, the day to day living comes at me begging to be heard. What now? How do I live out this life I have now?
I think God has laid a burden at my feet for other widows. I desire to take this empathy I now have, one I never asked for but am grateful to have, and share it with others. I am seeing such a great need for ministry to widows that is being sorely neglected in so many of our churches. But, how many others are being neglected? What about the elderly cooped up with no one to visit them? The young mother struggling to make ends meet? Do I have empathy for all these? No, but sympathy, certainly. So I have to go with what I know, with what I’ve been given. To take that “cup of cold water” in Jesus’ name.
I had a conversation today with an old neighbor friend. We lived next door to each other for nine years, but I think I talked to her more today than I did those nine years combined. God has been so gracious to me to bring people back into my life to be an encouragement. Talking to her helped me to see that perhaps I AM on the right track as far as plans for the immediate future. I feel God leading me to be a help to my family. To be there, nearby, to be a help in their time of need and in mine. That looks like moving and it looks like traveling.