Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world (James 1:27)
Beyond upward mobility
The preceding text reminds us that the Lord wants us invested in all ages and genders, not just the key 18-49 demographic targeted by advertisers. Therefore, it is vital that we involve both young and old in assembly life.
If you own a vehicle, consider turning it into a ministry to the widowed and orphaned. For instance, although you may not be acquainted with literal orphans, there are many children in our neighbourhoods who come from unsaved homes. Be a godly influence on them by offering to drive them to Sunday School or to kids club.
We have an eight-seater van for our family of six, the means through which we can drive an elderly widow (Mrs. D) to the Sunday morning meetings. Here are some benefits you can expect when you open your vehicle to such passengers.
Do you ever wake up on Sunday morning feeling unmotivated about the meeting? Admittedly, I have. However, if you’re given charge of a passenger like Mrs. D, they can be a motivating factor to get you out of bed and out the door. By the time we’ve entered the chapel driveway our mind and attitude has shifted toward the one to whom we’re ministering. We’ve also sacrificed certain social interactions with our peers to take Mrs. D home after the meeting in a timely fashion.
The awareness of picking up our passenger at the designated time has forced us to practice time management. Because the breaking of bread is a priority, we try and organize our schedule so that we have five minutes to spare by the time we’ve arrived at the chapel with Mrs. D. We have four kids of our own, ages ranging 1-10, so our Sunday morning routine has transitioned from chaos to organized chaos. To their credit, the kids are learning to get ready by our departure time. Fewer Bibles and accessories are forgotten each week!
I have the privilege of teaching a young peoples’ class at the assembly. With the latter, I can take full advantage of modern technology, communicating with them via text or email. In contrast, the only means of communication between us and Mrs. D is the good old-fashioned telephone.
Moreover, like many elderly people, she has suffered substantial hearing loss, which can be an obstacle requiring patience and understanding. Typically, I speak at a quick pace to my peers. However, when speaking with Mrs. D, I speak slowly, deliberately and at a higher volume. If I’ve become a better communicator, I have Mrs. D to thank!
Having an elderly passenger has enlarged our kids’ social interaction beyond the school playground. Our weekly interactions have cultivated an atmosphere of respect, not to mention the fact that our children have learned to articulate for the benefit of an elderly woman with hearing loss. The love is reciprocal, as Mrs. D has frequently gifted our children with treats and other goodies.
Getting beyond Sundays
Although we didn’t know Mrs. D that well until we began driving her to and from the meeting, she has become like a member of our family. One weeknight, she graciously invited us over to her home for an elaborate meal. It is nice getting to know somebody outside of the Sunday meeting schedule.
When Mrs. D returns to her native Caribbean island during the long Canadian winter, she keeps in touch with us, letting us know how she’s doing and advising us as to the date of her return in the spring. The elders of the assembly communicate with Mrs. D through us and it is always nice when the elders take the elderly into account.
If the Lord Jesus didn’t neglect the orphaned or the widowed, neither should we. Ministering to such develops Christ-like attributes, not to mention genuine friendships. Consider using your chariot for good –you will not regret it!