It's not my responsibility... least not entirely, but it took me a while to see it. 

For several years, I've thoroughly enjoyed helping an older disabled friend with a shower and a few small chores once a week, but lately I've needed almost as much help as she does. Because of my own disabilities, I had to tell her this week that I would not be able to come.    

I could hear the disappointment in her voice, and I felt terrible that I couldn't help her with the things she was counting on me to do. I was equally disappointed for myself - I miss our time together - the stories, the laughter and prayers

Using some of the care giving skills I practiced as a professional nurse years ago has also helped me feel useful in this post-raising-children season I'm in.  It's not been easy for me to transition from feeling useful to feeling like a burden, even for what I hope is only temporary. 

I've also worried that it will be an inconvenience for others to pick up the slack in my absence. There aren't many men and women in the church who make themselves available to help others like my friend. 

Jane and Linda are two friends who've graciously helped when I couldn't, but maybe it's time the church assumes the responsibility that belongs to everyone.  

Caring for my friend is not my sole responsibility. Pure and undefiled religion is not a call reserved for a select few, but as long as I hold tight to that privilege and responsibility, others are denied the same blessings I've received and the church fails to recognize the responsibility that is hers corporately. 
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. ~ James 1.27
What do you think James 1.27 is saying to the church? 

What are some of the ways you and/or your church meet the needs of orphans and widows in your church and community? 

Photo:  a rose from our garden