The lesson of the widow

Continuation of the story of Max. He got more sick and needed to be admitted in the hospital. Read how it is going….

Life lessons

She usually sits in front of me in church. I don’t know how old she is, but I suspect she is somewhere in her seventies. She is a narrow, actually skinny, woman. She always dresses simply. And although she has little body, she has sharp, insightful eyes. When she sees me she always greets me with a hug and then says fondly, ‘my daughter, how are you?’. She doesn’t speak much English, but she always tries.

She has been a widow for years and has suffered many losses in life. Several children have died and she also had to bury a number of (adult) grandchildren. Despite that, her spirit is not broken. Sometimes when she doesn’t know how to express herself in English, her finger goes up; God! She has a simple but unwavering faith in her Savior.

During the church service it regularly happens that various groups sing a song at the front of the church, one of these groups are the widows of the church. She also sings along, full of dedication. Her feet automatically dance to the rhythm of the music and her whole body follows. Pure joy and happiness radiate from her face. She prefers to sing in her native language, Dholuo. Many well-known hymns have been translated into this language and she sings them along with love.

A while ago a (Dutch) visitor asked me whether the people here are happy, in their simple houses, often the same rhythm, no exciting trips to other countries or even a holiday, almost always money worries and so on. I think of this question when I see her standing at the front of the church, singing with joy again. A woman who literally lives by/of God’s grace, she never knows what she will eat tomorrow or whether she will have money next week. A woman who has suffered so many losses in life, stood at a loved one’s grave so many times… And yet, she knows that her Savior lives and that He will care for her, every day. She lives at the Amazing Grace.

This humble widow is an example to me. So fragile, yet so powerful. So ‘poor’, yet so rich. She cared for her critically ill adult granddaughter for months. From cooking and feeding her food to helping her to the outside toilet, washing her, encouraging her… Ultimately, her illness became too strong for her, her body could no longer cope, despite her grandmother’s good care. Once again this old woman stood at a grave, once again confronted with loss, with death.

However, she continues to point upwards, with a smile on her drawn face. Without words I know that she is also looking forward to the Day that is yet to come, when all pain and grief and sadness will finally disappear. Until then, we continue to serve, hope, care, pray and look Above!