Pure and Undefiled Religion

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

Last week at Bible Study, the leader asked us to share something about our mothers. I would like to share what I said.

1. I have no doubt that my mom loves me and my sisters. That she wants us around anytime and loves spending time with us. That she would do anything to help us.

2. I have always admired and aspired to her compassion towards the "widows and orphans" referenced in the verse above.
In this context, "widows and orphans" represent a certain segment of the population.
They are the people all around you who are alone, lonely, unloved, grieving, lost, hurt and ignored. They are people who need help. The people who need financial assistance. Those who need someone to take care of them.

One commentary summarizes this concept like this:

Widows and orphans - Those who need it most.
In their affliction — In their most helpless and hopeless state.

I've seen my mom go out for coffee with a younger mother who is struggling to raise her kids. I've seen her drive a woman to chemo appointments an hour away. I've seen her counsel couples in our living room late at night because they were having marital trouble and didn't know where else to turn. I've seen her take meals to families who have been through tragedy or medical trials. I've been around when she offered to babysit everyday for a single mom who needed to work and couldn't afford a babysitter. I've seen her buy extra Christmas presents and deliver them to a family struggling financially. I've seen her strike up a conversation with a stranger who seemed desperate for a kind word.

On this Mother's Day Weekend, I want to say that I am thankful for my mom and for the amazing example she sets of compassion towards widows and orphans.