This past week, I had the amazing opportunity to begin Spring Break by participating in Widows Ministry. Each spring, Erskine students who are part of the Barn join Bill May in his constant efforts to care for widows and widowers who live in the areas near Erskine. Years ago, Bill’s grandfather modeled true religion for his grandson when he took Bill with him to work on various projects for the numerous widows who called on him when they needed help. After the death of his father and grandfather, Bill took up the work that they had begun, and in recent years he has even begun to invite college students to join him in caring for these wonderful friends.
During the week, we Erskine students were blessed to get to know numerous different widows and widowers, visiting with them and hearing their stories. As young people, we so often forget to take the time to learn from and spend time with the elderly; and in doing so, we both neglect what James calls “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless” and forfeit a wonderful opportunity to learn from those older and wiser than we are. Friends and I were incredibly blessed, for example, by the bubbling cheerfulness and sweet spirit of Mrs. Sadie, who enjoyed watching a couple of us play the piano and thanked us heartily for taking the time to come see her. We also enjoyed a pound cake made by one ninety-two year old widower while we listened to fascinating stories about his life and experiences as a black man living through the Civil Rights Movement.
We were also able to undertake various tasks, such as clear-coating a ramp and pruning bushes. And in between our visits, of course, we enjoyed what Bill wisely said everyone loves—food and fellowship! One of the greatest things about Widows Ministry is that the relationships we established over the past few days are ones which we can continue to cultivate during the school year as we seek to live out James 1:27. This video might give you an idea of some of what the week was like.