“And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?” Luke 12:42
Last year I heard a widow asking God to help her to be faithful with the stewardship of widowhood that He had given her. That idea stunned me. I had never heard widowhood put in that light before and began thinking more about that.
Suppose that instead of looking at being a widow as a woman that has this big scarlet “W” branded on her forehead, I look at it as a title that is precious and even special. That thought alone would blow some widows out of the water because there are some of us who so detest the word “widow” that we will not even allow ourselves to be called by that name. But just suppose we step back from where we are for a few minutes and carefully consider what it would mean to be a steward of that title.
Stewardship is our purpose in this world that is assigned to us by God. A good steward of their purpose manages well the assignment that God has given them. A widow is a woman who has lost her husband, yet in her loss, she has been given a new husband and that husband is God. I would say that is a pretty big step up. The love I have for my husband is more than for any other person in this world. He was not only my husband, but he was my best friend. There was no better person in this world for me. But, he was not perfect.
When I became a widow, God viewed me differently. He is not only my father, but He has taken up a new position as my husband. Any man who withholds justice from me now is cursed.
So, how am I to be faithful with the stewardship of widowhood? There are several examples of this that I immediately thought of. The first one is Christiana Cassidy Bortz who was a widow for almost twelve years and remarried just last month. She is stewarding her widowhood by ministering to widows in a way that has never been done before through an organization she founded called Widow’s Walk (mywidowswalk.com) . She is out there trying to get care pastors, counselors, coaches, and others to actually see the needs of widows and to do something about it with the materials that she along with others has developed.
Another widow, Miriam Neff, who has been widowed for four years, stewards her widowhood by taking treadle sewing machines to Africa to teach African widows how to make a new life and a living for themselves and their children. She has a website called Widow Connection (widowconnection.com) that is a wonderful resource for widows. Miriam also wrote a book entitled From One Widow to Another that is a must for any widow – especially during her 1st year of widowhood.
Yet a third widow Joy Fowler, who became a widow a few days before I did, sends a different grief booklet to widows and widowers in three month installments for the first year of their grief journey. Each booklet has to do with where they are that particular time in their grief.
Former widow Ferree Hardy has an online Face Book group for widows only called “Lifeboat” (facebook.com/groups/Lifeboat/). It is a safe place for widows to come to share their deepest feelings and emotions without judgment. It is also a place where widows can receive the encouragement that they need. Ferree is also writing a new book for widows that she hopes to finish soon.
Lord, thank you for Joy who asked You to help her to be a faithful steward of her widowhood. You immediately spoke to my heart when I heard her say that and I knew that I, too, have the same responsibility in my widowhood. Help me to manage this assignment that You have given me and use me to the best of my abilities. Help me not to view widowhood as a curse, but as something very precious and special.