A Modern Day Persistent Widow

We have a friend here who is a widow. When her husband died she wasn’t left with much. One thing that they had was a small bank account where they deposited their savings when they had something to save. When they opened up the bank account the husband did something very unusual for an African man. He put his name and his wife’s name on the account so that she would also have access to their money.

When the husband died the wife went to the bank to withdraw the money in order to take care of the family. When she did this, the bank made things very difficult for her. She had to obtain many certified documents showing that the husband died, cause of death and other documents to identify themselves as the holders of the account. Each of these documents were costly, and once she had them and the bank signed off on them, the widow had to then go to the local court to ask for the signature of the judge, thereby certifying the documents as legitimate and allowing the widow to receive her money from the bank. After seeing the judge and explaining the situation, the judge told her that he was not working on cases such as these and that she needed to come back another day. When she returned, the judge was out of town. When she returned again, the judge would not see her. To this day, she is still waiting.

Many times when we read the stories that Jesus tells we think that they might not have much direct application to our daily lives. Sometimes that is true. However, it is comforting when we are in a situation where the parables of Jesus give us a very concrete example of what to do. When this widow asked me what she should do, I explained to her the story of the persistent widow who annoyed the judge until she received justice and the result she was looking for.

Sometimes we think that scripture tells us everything that we need to know. Sometimes it does but some times it does not. Our circumstances in modern day America are far removed from first century Palestine. However there are situations where our circumstances and the stories in the Bible seem remarkably similar. When this happens, we can feel confident that the outcome will be exactly what Jesus tells us it will be. I am fully confident and sure that this widow will receive justice from this judge. It may take time, but we have confidence in Jesus that he will uphold those who are powerless and oppressed.

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