I would like you to read this blog very careful before you decide what it is I actually am advocating. Because, on first impressions you might get the wrong idea and intention.
Not that many long years ago, (and even now in some remote parts or areas of India it is suspected) it was common practise to burn the dead husbands on a funeral pyre, and along with the dead husband, they also used to burn the live wife too. A horrible practise I’m sure most would agree, and one thing at least, that early Missionaries were appreciated for trying to eradicate completely.
However these days, another horrible practise has arisen there, and that still involves rejecting the widow. According to Marvin Williams, in His “Our Daily Bread” article for September 10th 2008, ‘CNN recently reported that there are approximately 40 Million widows in India. Fifteen thousand of them live on the streets of the Northern city of Vrindavan. Unfortunately, many of their families do not hear their cries. A 70-year-old widow says,” My son tells me: 'You have grown old. Now who is going to feed you? Go away’”.
So the practise of burning widows was condemned and stopped, but no satisfactorily long term change in attitude to the widows were implemented, not a long term and effective program to care for these widows. And therein lies the problem of stopping an evil practise without actually changing the mind set behind the people involved in that practise. Without that resulting change of mind set, their original way to “Care “ for the widows, was barbaric indeed, but was it really any less barbaric than casting them out into the streets?
Again I wish to make it quite clear that I am not advocating burning widows with their dead husbands, nor actually anything to do with widows in India or anywhere else for that matter! No! But I am urging you, that when you get involved with trying to stop barbaric and inhumane practices etc, (which I again would strongly urge you to do), that you do the job thoroughly and not just content yourself with saving someone from burning, only to slowly starve to death or worse on the streets either. Likewise I am not saying, not to get involved with these projects either, but to do these things fully and not leave them in a similar or even worse situation.
I know a person in America who is greatly concerned about stray cats and supports the efforts of various organizations involved with this work to find them homes. As part of that, she adopted two herself. Thus adding a practical measure to her verbal and financial support. Maybe you can do something similar too?
Maybe not to actually adopt a couple of Indian widows, or even a couple of Local “Street people” into your family, but maybe you can help support organizations that do this work. And if there is one operating near you, you can even actively participate in their work there.
I will leave what you do to you, but again urge you in closing, to think fully through what the results of your actions will be in any and every worthwhile program around, and then be prepared to see that job through to the end before you really get involved. Will you do that please? Thanks!