“Look after…widows.” Jas 1:27 NIV

Miriam Neff says: “With my husband Bob’s exit to heaven…life changed: my calendar, my checkbook…the contents of my refrigerator, and the look in my children’s eyes when they step through the door on holidays. My living space is more cluttered. I seldom use make-up…there are other changes so personal they can’t be shared. Loneliness and solitude are not descriptive enough…Widows experience so many firsts, we stop counting…As a widow I’ve learned that we all change. And much of the change is good. We become faith-filled because we can’t face the day any other way. We become strong because we’ve no choice. We’re compassionate because our heart has been broken.” The fact is, women whose husbands die lose 75 percent of their friendships; 60 percent experience health issues, one-third are clinically depressed one year later, and most face financial hardship. As one pastor says, “Widows move from the front row of the church to the back, and then out the door. They go from serving and singing in the choir, to solitude and silent sobbing.” God cares so much about widows He mentions them over one hundred times in Scripture. He’s a “defender of widows” (Ps 68:5 NIV); He “watches over… and sustains [them]” (Ps 146:9 NIV). James says, “Religion that God…accepts as pure and faultless is…to look after…widows.” Miriam Neff adds: “No one can comfort a widow like another widow…when we see another woman enter this experience…we want to comfort her…While the need for financial support and help…is common, the need for connection is more pressing…we need believing friends near us.”