Widows and Orphans

While I'm swiping videos from other sources, here's a small vid we did last week for Cross & Crown Mission that "aired" Sunday at a local suburban church. Paul spoke on James 1:27 ... the widows and orphans verse.

I love The Message's interpretation of that verse. "Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world."

Here's how I had always read that verse from the good old NIV:
"27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

I like the Message's "homeless and loveless." Nails it.

Loveless. Doesn't that stop you in your tracks? Love the loveless. Man, that is HARD.

I was surprised when Paul wanted me to "feature" one of the orphans they take care of at the mission. He's not a baby or a little kid. He's 20. We have a heart-wrenching answering machine message from him (in this vid). He gets cared for at the mission ... and loved through the trouble he gets into, the "harassing" he might do to get some cash or meal cards ... and how he fights his demons. He's an orphan. 

The widow in this vid is a neighbor. She is blind and frail and scared of the sounds she hears in da hood around her. She has the most beautiful little hands. She's been a "widow" since 1942!

Read the Bible to her. Hold her hand. Bring her some blackberries. Love on her. Listen to her stories. It's all it takes.

Do you ever have an overwhelming feeling of panic sometimes that God is going to hold us accountable for how his church did not take care of the widows and orphans (homeless and loveless)? The way we have let the state take care of them through behemoth bureaucracies that are inefficient, overwhelmed and cold? (Not saying the church doesn't do it, sometimes, or that all state workers are cold.)

I do. What should we do about it? 

Okay, I'm sliding back into my hidey hole now. Just typing words ...