Thursday, July 5, 2007

James 1:27 27 This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

If this is pure and undefiled religion, then we better listen up to this. James so clearly notes that the duty of the believer is to visit and care for those in need - and two examples of that are the orphans and the widows.

I went to CNN.com and found this headline story, Shunned from society, widows flock to city to die by Arwa Damon. Let's read it and grieve together:

Ostracized by society, India's widows flock to the holy city of Vrindavan waiting to die. They are found on side streets, hunched over with walking canes, their heads shaved and their pain etched by hundreds of deep wrinkles in their faces.

Specifically,

Hindu widows are shunned from society when their husbands die, not for religious reasons, but because of tradition -- and because they're seen as a financial drain on their families. They cannot remarry. They must not wear jewelry. They are forced to shave their heads and typically wear white. Even their shadows are considered bad luck.

Listen to what one widow noted regarding her family:

"Does it feel good?" says 70-year-old Rada Rani Biswas. "Now I have to loiter just for a bite to eat." Biswas speaks with a strong voice, but her spirit is broken. When her husband of 50 years died, she was instantly ostracized by all those she thought loved her, including her son.


Did you know that:


There are an estimated 40 million widows in India, many of them shunned and stripped of the life they lived when they were married. It's believed that 15,000 widows live on the streets of Vrindavan, a city of about 55,000 in northern India.



One more clip will suffice:

"Generally all widows are ostracized," she says. "An educated woman may have money and independence, but even that is snatched away when she becomes a widow. We live in a patriarchal society. Men say that culturally as a widow you cannot do anything: You cannot grow your hair, you should not look beautiful."

This is most wicked and most heinous before the sight of a loving God who created these beautiful women who are in desperate need of help, love and familial provision. Yet, with the Hindu religion, all they receive is a blatant and unabashed ostracism.

So what do you do when you have family in desperate need of family assistance and provision? Well, I can tell you what the Scriptures say:

1 Timothy 5:8 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.

Furthermore, this context in 1 Timothy 5 is all about WIDOWS and caring for their needs. Listen to how Paul begins his excurses on widows in 1 Timothy 5:

1 Timothy 5:3-7 3 Honor widows who are widows indeed; 4 but if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family, and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. 5 Now she who is a widow indeed, and who has been left alone has fixed her hope on God, and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day. 6 But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach.

This sounds just a little bit different than the Hindus who simply ostracize their widows as if they are meaningless, worthless and good for nothing. I believe this is most grievous in the sight of God.

What can you do?
1) Love all people - especially the widows. They are those still created in God's image(Gen 1:26). They still bear His glorious imprint.
2) Pray. Pray that the Hindu religion would be freed from the lost and blinding false religion that they are bound in. Pray that they may hear the Gospel and receive the free gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
3) Lovingly, sacrificially and cheerfully provide for your own. If one in your family is in dire need, and it is in your ability to help out, then do so (1 Tim 5:8).
4) Never treat people as if they are "worthless." Even the most heinous sinner before God is still in need of salvation and in need of forgiveness. May we be those who bear the true gospel of Christ on our chests every day in the way we conduct ourselves and relate with people.

Source: CNN here.

1 comments:

your wifey ;-) said...

Amen, Honey! Preach it!

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