Orphans and Widows

Published September 17, 2013 by Dawn

When I was a little girl, I was most perplexed over the way things always seemed to break in my hands. Almost like they were broken before I even touched them. I was always getting in trouble because things broke the moment I laid a finger on them.  And so I grew up thinking I had a way of destroying things without even realizing what I was doing.

I have carried this curse with me into adulthood. I bought a toaster from Wal-Mart a few months ago and when I went to try it out, I realized that it was all jacked up on the inside. I was annoyed and slightly amused, but with a little finagling, got the toaster to work despite its malfunction and decided to keep it rather than go through the headache of returning it. That broken toaster makes me breakfast most mornings.

A few weeks ago, I had to buy a new wax warmer for my scented wax cubes, and when I opened up the new one, I pulled out from within it a bag of glass shards that had once been a light bulb. I was irritated at the lack of quality I find increasingly at Wal-Mart, but decided rather than return it just because the bulb, I’d replace the bulb and get on with life. So that’s what I did. I’m smelling the wonderful after-effects of that decision even now, as I type.

What I am not enjoying is the scratching at my back door … some stray cat abandoned it’s adorable kitten-child on my back doorstep and my children have coddled it all afternoon. Now that it’s time to come in, neither they nor the kitten can let go of each other. My momma heart is breaking, because while I do not want this poor orphan, I am having a hard time not wanting this poor orphan. Now that I think about it, I am literally sitting here purposefully hardening my heart to keep from bringing this wretched, flea-covered ball of love into my house. Logic is warring with my heart!

I said all that to say this: I don’t know if my curse is that I break everything I touch or that I am attracted to broken things. Or that broken things are always crying out to me. What I do know is this: I understand her pain and loneliness, sitting out there on my stoop crying out for the ones who gave her attention and affection. My daughter looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “Do you know what it’s like to not have a mom? She just wants to be loved.” My heart broke! I must be cold to sit here, enduring her agony as she cries out to me from the cold, dark outside.

This cat is crawling into my heart from the other side of the glass. And I want it to be okay. I just don’t want fleas! Not to mention, what will my rabbit think of a tiny kitten sharing his domain? These are all the things holding me back from allowing this humble little beggar into my home …

All these thoughts are justified reasons to say no in my own mind, to turn off the lights and go to sleep despite the desperate pleas of a baby kitten to be let in. And you know what bothers me most about that? If that were a person, I wonder if I would come up with similar reasons to turn my back on their need … Oh Lord, I hope not. Because this is the work that pleases God: To look after orphans and widows in their distress. Not to pray for them from the other side of the glass, but to take them in and care for them. Despite whatever reasons you can come up with to not do it, this work pleases Him. He watches over them and sustains them, and when you join Him in His work, you have truly joined Heaven’s ministry.

Father,

Please help us to be open to Your will, despite our excuses to maintain our own comfort and dignity. Lord, help us to see the needs of those around us  and to respond in a manner worthy of the calling You have placed in us. Give us the willingness to set aside our agendas and to be obedient to what You placed in front of us. May we comfort those with the comfort You have given us. Let us be a blessing to You by blessing those around us.

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