There is a widow in 1 Kings 17. And she is dying. She has no food left. And no Crisco to cook it with.
She isn’t lazy.
Maybe that’s the first place we go when we find someone starving. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps sort of mentality. But she has no boots, or straps, and she isn’t lazy. She has been gathering sticks all morning to make one last meal. She is going out swinging, still trying to hack it. Kind of like you would if you were dealt a poor hand, or if the cards were stacked against you.
You see, there was a famine in the land. And while people with money are hurt by famines, widows and day labors are ripped to shreds. Economic tragedies impact different class groups differently. Looking back 35 years ago, maybe you can relate. And when you are the lowest in the pecking order, things get rough quickly.
And Elijah, the prophet of God, who speaks for God, says to her, ‘fear not.’
And then he makes her a promise that she will make it, that the jar of oil will not fail, and that the bag of grain will hold out. And it does.
There are people in our own community who are trying to make it.
They aren’t lazy or slow, and they are trying to just get through another day. As the Syracuse ministers met a week ago, we talked about how many folks are hitting the food bank hard. I imagine it’s true of our other surrounding communities as well.
This is the bread bank and jar of oil for many who are like the widow. What happens if it is allowed to run dry? Where will people go? Or will they meet what would have been the widow’s fate?
God uses many prophets. Some are old school like Elijah who speaks words and they happen. And some are new school who bring dried pasta and canned beans to church so the oil jar will not fail. I wonder what kind of prophet you can be, because, this world needs more prophets. We really do. Prophets a lot like you…