The Widow’s Son

May 27, 2013

James 1:27-1:27

No, this not a Masonic or Mormon article but a reflection and praise to God for caring for this son of a widow woman. I am sure I have thought about it before but this morning it came to me that God has surely done wonderful things for me before I even cared to know Him and indeed while I cursed Him.

My father was killed in a car wreck in July, 1959. He would have been 29 in November and I would be 7 that September. I was nearly killed. I have a horseshoe shaped scar on my head. They say if the wound had been another half inch deeper I would have been killed. Mom fared better with just some minor cuts and scratches.

If seatbelts had been invented Dad may have survived and I might have been uninjured. Yet, in January 1970 I was in a car accident where I would have been killed if I would have had my seat belt and shoulder harness buckled. They drove my Dad’s car away and mine was totaled. Only God could have spared the six of us in the overturned Camaro with the roof smashed down even with the seats yet God allowed my Dad to die. Only He knows completely why.

Raising a child alone is never easy but in many ways it was rougher in the 50s and 60s than it is today. There were few, if any, support groups and no entitlement programs. Mom found solace and social life in the bars. I may have learned how to play shuffleboard and the jukebox before I could tie my shoes. Though she was the baby of seven, Mom didn’t get a lot of support from her family as they had plenty of issues of their own. At times it seemed like she was the black sheep of the family and that made me the son of the black sheep.

Ex 22:22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child. KJV

While most folks in the towns that I grew up in would have called themselves Christian or religious I would have to say that many did not read this verse. I say towns because we did move a lot for various reasons. I had trouble in school and got beat up a lot by students and teachers alike thus the only recourse was to move. Schools didn’t listen much unless you were a doctor, lawyer or someone in the upper strata. Mom’s problem with alcohol did not help either. In those days, you sneered at the problem rather than help the person. They wondered why I had a problem with authority back then. Go figure.

Prov 23:10 Remove not the old landmark; and enter not into the fields of the fatherless: KJV

Unfortunately, there were also many who took advantage of my Mom’s good heart and naiveté getting her to give them some of what little money she had and never paid it back often lying about even borrowing it. Instead of leaving gleanings in the fields for the widow and fatherless as Scripture commands they gleaned our field without any concern for either of us.

Ps 146:9 The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down. KJV

In spite of Mom’s problems, unscrupulous people and my struggles with the loss of my Dad and my lack of social and self-defense skills God did provide for us in many ways because we never lacked food, never lacked for a place to live and never went naked. Though some would have called us poor White trash we lived better than many others we knew in those days. He relieved my widowed Mom in ways we will never know until that final day.

He did all this when neither Mom nor I were saved. We were somewhat religious, but for many years I cursed God for killing my Father and putting Mom and I in the mess that we found ourselves. I hated being the only child because I was so often alone and felt like I had to buy my friends but didn’t have the resources to do much of it. Indeed, when I had my Camaro I had lots of friends but they disappeared when it was gone.

My self image was not very good. I suspect the beatings, the unearned reputation and being voted most likely to be in jail didn’t help that much. I was often accused of things I didn’t do which inspired me to do some other things since it did not seem to matter what I did as I would be punished or under suspicion anyway. I figured if I was going to get the blame and shame I might as well play the game. Ironically, the kind of things I got in trouble for compared to what kids do today would get me voted most likely to succeed if I were in the class of ’07 instead of ’70. They would be considered trivial pranks not the signs of a malevolent nature.

Yet in those not so happy school years, God provided three teachers that had some faith in me. I still remember my poor Algebra teacher whose class I would always be in when they called me to the office. She truly seemed to like me and was interested in my welfare. Then there was the English teacher in tenth grade that got me interested in writing poetry. That gave me a way to express my feelings in a way that wouldn’t get me beat up or sent to the office and has served me well even unto this day.

Lastly there was my Music teacher who wrote a musical and insisted that I try out though I felt I had no chance to get anything other than a small part, if any. Only later did I find out that he wrote one of the leads with me in mind. Wow! Imagine the redneck, rebel son of a widow woman getting a lead in a school where most of the teachers and administration hated me and disrespected my Mom. That part was truly preparing a table before me in the presence of mine enemies before I even knew those words existed. God was giving me some relief and treating me far better than I deserved.

Ps 68:4-5
4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. KJV

Looking back on now 54 years of my life and 47 as a fatherless son of the widow woman I have to sing praises to His name and extol Him publicly. He cared for me and my Mom when no one else did. When I think of all the crazy things that I did before I was saved that could have killed me or gotten me killed and sent to Hell it is obvious that He was being a loving father to me. Even since salvation, I have to confess that I have not always been the best of Christians but He has remained faithful even when I have not been.

The fact that He has spared me and allowed me a life far more successful than I deserve speaks not only to His care of the fatherless but of His being a judge to the widows. A lot of people criticized my Mom over the years but she did the best she could with the tools she had. Had we both been saved sooner we both would have had less scars and ghosts to haunt us. Yet, He preserved both of us and led us to Himself so that my Mom’s end was better than her beginning with all of her pain and sorrow now removed in His presence. Her heritage is doing better than any of her critics expected and better than some of their children. God has acted in her behalf. Praise His name!

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. KJV

You will find many injunctions throughout Scripture to care for the fatherless and widows. James says that along with personal holiness or separation that the care of the fatherless and widows is the manifestation or practice of pure religion. There are too many of us that have not learned this lesson. We rely too much upon government programs to take care of OUR duty, not the government’s duty. This may be why we have missed out on so many blessings because we have abandoned our religion and handed these souls over to the secularists. We need to review our priorities as Christians and Churches. Where were the Christians when my Mom and I needed them? I am afraid too many were in their Sunday best singing about being blest but not wanting to soil their hands to reach down to us.

They may have failed but God never did. Those who are reading this that are widows or fatherless do not look at what you don’t have or what has happened but rather look at what could have happened and at what you have. You will find that you have received many more blessings, gifts and relief from the hands of a loving Father than you ever realized.

If you not Christians, please do not only accept the material gifts that He bestows and miss out on the greatest gift He offers. Receive His son’s sacrifice on the Cross as the payment for you sins and be born again into His family. You will never be fatherless again and to you widows He will become your Husband. Those are eternal relationships that can never be broken. Please come into the family. I will never have enough brothers, sisters and mothers. He will never have enough children until all have come unto that are willing to come. Why spend another minute fatherless and as a widow? Come to Him now!!!


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