"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." When I read this verse the other day in James, it disturbed me. I thought to myself, am I not showing true religion because I don’t HAVE any orphans or widows in my life?
The other day as I was walking home from buying a bunch of stuff for the café, I came across a little old woman. (“Viejitos” – old people – like this man in this picture seem much older here than they do in the States). This woman particularly looked like she was having a rough time of it; she was so bent over due to osteoporosis, she might as well have been bent in half. In one hand she had a small bag of bread and in the other a little walking stick that was holding the majority of her weight. I, myself was carrying two large bags, but knew that this was the time. I stopped and asked her if she needed help. She gratefully took my hand and put all her weight on my arm. As we walked she talked about her family and many other things that I couldn’t understand due to a lack of teeth and a mutter.
My heart was broken that I couldn’t communicate with this woman, but I knew that for this day at this time, she was my true religion.
Walking home I thanked the Lord for giving me the opportunity to minister to someone in real need and then he reminded me: Orphans and widows don’t have to be physical, it could be emotional, spiritual or mental. This woman was a widow because she had no one to care for her. Others have family but no one who will truly care for them. Some orphans still have parents but have no one to show them the truth.
THIS is true religion: to take care of orphans and widows in their distress. Do not discount the orphans and widows in your life.