I had an accident last month while out bushwalking. I won’t rewrite the whole thing here but if you’re interested in the details, you can read about it at my photography blog, since I was out doing photography when it happened.
I’m now nursing a broken leg and will be on crutches till 1st February when I have to go back and see the surgeon. I spent 8 days in hospital and had to have surgery to have a rod and screws put into my leg. Consequently my poor husband has had to look after me, the household, meals and the cats – when he struggles to look after himself some days. My husband had an accident himself, only 8 months prior, resulting in spinal cord injury – much worse than my own injury. He’s still recovering and is on painkillers. While he can now walk and use his right hand, he is still limited with things he can do – and easily. What was supposed to be 3 weeks of Christmas holiday leave turned out to be a time of being a Carer for me. He’s done a wonderful job but he hasn’t had to do it all himself. And the reason why is because we have a support network of family, friends, neighbours and our church family. Between them we’ve had shopping done, especially before Christmas, Christmas presents wrapped, the house cleaned, cooked meals provided, errands run, my business mail picked up, and support and prayer. Without these people we would have been in a far worse state and my husband probably wouldn’t have coped.
Why have I brought this up? A friend on Facebook recently posted about the challenges she is having with her family of boys. One is nearing his teen years. She’s been a widow for a few years now and is struggling to manage her family and finds it a real challenge and very tiring. I asked her if she had contacted her local church and asked for help. Her response was that there are others with worse problems than her and she didn’t want to bother them. I told her she was wrong and that the church will only know there’s a problem and she needs help – if she tells them.
We are often told that God is concerned about every single detail in our lives and that He wants us to bring those concerns to Him. Likewise I think it’s important we reach out to His people because who is better equipped to help us and be there for us, if not God’s people?
A Proverbs 31 Woman, in most cases, has a man, her husband, to look after her and care for her. But what about those who are widows or without their husbands for some reason? While she will still watch over the affairs of her household (Proverbs 31, verse 27) she is still very much someone who needs to be looked after. In the Bible we’re encouraged to look out for widows and orphans – but if you don’t know they have a need, it’s unlikely you’ll be helping them.
If you know a widow (or widower), or single parent, especially one with young children, why not check on them regularly? Particularly if they don’t have other family close by. Unfortunately today so many are separated from their extended family members and are often hundreds of miles away. They’ll be appreciative of adult company and conversation and may not feel they can ask for help – so why not offer it anyway? And if they say ‘no’, keep in touch – they may just feel that they can’t ask or accept, even when they are in need.