"When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, 'Do not weep'" LUKE 7:13.
I can completely understand the agony of the widow at Nain. It was a sunny July afternoon when my cell phone rang. My husband was driving through the mountains of northern Idaho and our youngest daughter, Kristen, had a childhood friend who was in the back seat. We had invited her to come and celebrate Kristen's 19th birthday at the state park where she was working for the summer. I didn't even get a chance to say, "Hello," before I heard Kristen crying and screaming, "He's dead! He's dead!" "Kris, slow down," as I put the phone on speaker so my husband could be included in the conversation. "Kelsy called. She has been trying to reach you. Nic is dead!"
Kelsy is our oldest daughter and Nic was her young husband. They were married almost three years. I don't remember the words after that. My heart felt like it quit beating and my only thought was getting to Kelsy quickly. When we finally reached Kelsy in the wee hours of the morning, she was standing alone on the sidewalk outside of their home church. She was barefoot and alone. She had run to the church when she received a call to meet her in-laws there. She only lived a few blocks away. She was so distraught she didn't remember to go home and get her shoes. My heart was completely broken. I knew God could do miracles. I knew God loved me and my family so why in the world was this happening? I couldn't make sense of it. Although the Bible is silent concerning the events surrounding the widow of Nain, I think this is how she must have felt. While reading about her walking in her dead son's funeral procession, I could feel my chest tighten up and tears well up in my eyes as the emotion of death, grief, and hopelessness come flooding back to my memory. I can imagine this poor widow with tear-soaked clothes, shortness of breath, and the inability to make clear decisions or even put together a full sentence. The overwhelming mass confusion that must have filled her head. Her world had spun out of control.
Unlike me or Kelsy, the widow at Nain had to worry about so much more as she marched down the street with her son's dead body in an open coffin. She was very aware that her son's death could possibly mean her death also. Back then, widows were not the most highly favored of society. If you were a widow and you didn't have a son or a father to care for you, you could starve to death on the streets. Women were not allowed to own real estate, have bank accounts, or fend for themselves. They were completely at the mercy of men. When her son died, the economic reality must have set in. There were no earthly answers. She could bein a hopeless situation. But Jesus had compassion!
The grieving widowed mother must have had good friends and family in the crowd because the scripture says that when Jesus came along, the procession stopped. They gave Him time. Time to speak. Time to do His work. Her friends, family, community, or hired mourners must have understood that something was happening. They paused and gave Him a moment. From grief to comfort FROM HOPELESSNESS TOCELEBRATION The scriptures do not give any indication that the widow or the crowd that was with her had even heard of Jesus or knew who He was. It simply says, "Jesus had compassion on her." He told her not to cry. Wow! How crazy was that? Can you just imagine how this widow must have felt when a total stranger looks straight at her and tells her not to cry at her own son's funeral? He then reached over and gently touched the open coffin and spoke to the young man. That's it, a touch, and a word. That's all it took! Jesus transformed that funeral procession into a parade of comforting celebration!
If you would like to be able to do a complete study of Session Ten, order a copy of HER STORY: Redeemed by contacting Empowered Women's Ministry at email@example.com or 817.554.5900 ext. 371. Available also at pcg.org/resources or Amazon.
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