Looking After Barbara - Encouragement Café - June 4, 2014

Looking After Barbara

Café Menu for Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Today’s Special is: What Does Looking After Look Like?

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Connie Hughey

Main Ingredient:

Religion 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.

James 1:27 NIV


I hate to admit this but, as a young mother, I paid little attention to the older women in our church. Besides caring for our little ones, I helped my youth pastor husband lead the youth group. Most of my church related activities involved children and teenagers. That left me with no time to get to know anyone outside of those age groups.

All of that has changed now. My social circle has expanded since our children have grown, and I no longer possess the energy to keep up with teenagers. Now I have the time to develop friendships with several older women in our church.

One of those women is Barbara whose husband, Carl, died unexpectedly last year. As you can imagine, this has been a difficult time for her. Not only did she lose her best friend of 48 years, she is in poor health. To top it all off she lives alone, does not drive and all of her family members live out of state.

Our church family has stepped in to fulfill James’ command to look after the orphans and widows in their distress. Barbara has been in distress, feeling lonely, helpless and heartbroken without her husband. Thankfully there are several of us who are looking after her just as James asks.

So, what does ‘looking after’ Barbara look like?

Since Barbara doesn’t drive, we take her grocery shopping, to get her hair cut, to her doctor appointments and even out for lunch.

Several men keep her home in good repair, recently installing a new toilet. Another built a railing on the front step so she has something to hold onto when she goes in and out of the house.

A few of us take turns picking her up for Sunday services and other social events so she can be with her friends at church.

Barbara’s life is better because she has friends who are looking after her. Her distress has been eased a bit as she has been surrounded by people who care for her.

Take Out:

Let’s take a look around our churches and neighborhoods to see if there are any widows or widowers that we haven’t noticed before. If we see them, will we take the time to befriend them? If we do reach out to them, we may find ourselves looking after them, helping to ease their distress in a time of need.

This, my friend, is what God our Father accepts as pure and faultless religion.


Dear Heavenly Father, You love the widow. You know her and You know her needs. Lead us to her. Give us eyes to see her. Grant us the grace to reach out to her. Meet her needs through us so that we might help relieve her distress. Amen

© 2014 by Connie Hughey. All rights reserved.

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Originally published Wednesday, 04 June 2014.