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Do we really help the widows and orphans?

Now let me reframe who today’s widows are: single moms/parents.  Any of them.  They could have become a single parent because of the death of spouse, divorce or experiencing a unplanned pregnancy.  Orphans are kids who have lost a parent or both parents, kids who have minimal relationship with or who are minimally provided for by a parent, or kids are estranged from parents.

People of all political perspectives will donate food over and over again to make sure they have food.  I’m just wondering if we need to do more to make sure that the system is fair?  What steps are we missing so that they can have a life of joy?

Today’s widows often feel shame when they have to go on welfare/food stamps/Medicaid.  Many don’t believe that they would face a time when they would need government assistance.  Political pundits keep making them feel “less than.”  Politicians keep voting for them to receive less and less aid.

To some, taking care of the widows and orphans has become an optional faith mandate.

Shame and guilt and cutting programs doesn’t really help the widows and orphans.  Food helps some on a shorter-term basis.  (If someone has a disability, they should receive assistance to live, but that’s another blog for another time.)

When it comes down to taking care of those who struggle, I think there’s something greater: helping them live into God’s call for them.

Single moms often don’t have child care or health care or money to go back to school to strengthen their future and acknowledge God’s call.  When their child gets sick, the child MUST go home from school or daycare.  Who takes care of them?  The widow is forced to miss a day of work or school.  Such circumstances requires them to leave their achievements and God’s call behind.

The Bible says over and over and over again to take care of the widows and orphans.  It’s time we truly take care of them by walking along side of them and helping them grasp God’s dream for their lives.  If you want women to get off welfare: create a system where they can do what’s need to achieve their degrees.  Create daycare options where working moms can drop off their sick child for a day.  Do not have “points” systems at work so that a widow will go on probation if she has to miss a day of work to take care of her child.

As a single woman without children, it’s tough enough to make sure I have the energy and resources to follow God’s call.  I can’t imagine what it would be like for a woman with children.  So maybe it’s time for all of us to work together to make sure this mandate of “caring for the widows and orphans” actually takes place.*

*And please don’t play the blame game and say “having a child out of wedlock was their choice when they had sex.”  Seriously?  Like most people haven’t made those choices at some point?  Some just have the privilege of birth control and great support systems.

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