No. 694



There is an old Chinese Proverb that says that a widow is “A rudderless boat.” The picture here of course is when the husband dies, the wife is set apart to drift until they reach a distant shore or find an anchor. All across our nation, in every community, there are countless women who lose their mate and find themselves alone to face a very uncertain future in many cases. As Viola and I have gotten older, we are more aware of this than ever, because we have many women friends who are dealing with this loss or separation at this very moment. While there is always grief involved in this final separation, and some women adjust in a relatively short period of time, others struggle for months and even years to cope with their loss. The struggle never ends for some.
What I am going to share with you during the remainder of this column is taking place here in Conway, but I want you to know that every column I write of this nature is meant to provide an idea or spark for you to do something similar in your own community. As I have shared with you many times, my wife Viola is a very giving and caring person and she loves to cook. If you could see me in person, you would know that she is good at it. There are a large number of widows in our church and, along with a dear friend, Anne Weedman, they decided to invite the widows to attend a Widow’s Luncheon.
The first step to make this happen was to get the names of the widows from the church office. In a later planning session they set a date, prepared a label and invitation for each one, and put them in the mail. At this point the wheels were set in motion and there was fun-type, rewarding work to be done. They planned a menu and divided the food preparation up between them. Next came planning for a short program, which included some singing and a short devotional. Really, the great thing the luncheon provided was the fellowship and being with other widows with whom they had something in common. They were all walking the same, often lonely, road.
As of this writing, Viola and Anne have had two of these luncheons -- 15 attended the first one and 27 the second. They plan to continue at least a couple of times each year. Viola told me that one widow commented, “I didn’t know there were still people who did things like this.”
There was something else, somewhat humorous, that came out of this experience. For several years Viola has bought fried pies from a company that is located about 100 miles south of us, and a delivery man comes to Conway a couple of times each month. These pies are delicious and you just place your order of what flavors you want from about 15 different choices: apple, peach, chocolate, apricot, coconut, etc. This man delivers them to a local church where a check is waiting for him.
The pies were a terrific hit with the widows and now most of them are also enjoying delicious fried pies in their own homes. What I am talking about here is not your typical news of what is happening in Washington or on Wall Street, or anywhere in between, but rather just encouraging, helping and relating to other people’s needs where they are. What I want you to see here is that there are widows in every community who are lonely, need a word of encouragement and the rewards of meeting needs of this kind are great. This can be one or more ladies from a church, a club or a community group who can host a “Widow’s Luncheon” and make a difference.
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To support literacy, buy his book: “Learning, Earning & Giving Back.”)