“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” – James 1:27
This is a true story of an awesome lady by the name of Miss Dee. I had the privilege of meeting Miss Dee about two weeks ago. I was starting the process of finding people who would qualify for their homes to be painted for Sulphur Springs Workcamp, a mission experience for teenagers here in Sulphur Springs. The phone call with the meek woman with the calming, gentle voice led to a face-to-face meeting at her house.
As I arrived at her house not knowing what to expect. What I found astounded me. To say that she lived in a house is a stretch of the imagination. She was living in a house that is the size of most two car garages (see above picture). The completely square structure had only one recently added wall as to only have some separation between the living room and Miss Dee’s bedroom. As I sat at her kitchen table answering all her questions and looking around her home, James 1:27 kept coming to my mind. I felt responsibility for Miss Dee. I felt that God had led me there to help Miss Dee and help take care of the basic, human needs that we all so often take for granted.
She showed me to her backyard which held her dog. There stood a huge, intimidating German Shepherd-looking dog starring a hole through me. Now you must understand that Miss Dee is a tiny, 82 year old lady that probably weighs as much as her dog. It was obvious that you could see the loyalty that the dog had for Miss Dee. It was a sweet dog, so my defenses were down almost immediately.
I wish you could have seen the joy in Miss Dee’s face when we she spoke about her dog. Miss Dee told me, “the reason that I get up everyday and the reason I keep on living is for my dog.” She jumped at the chance to take me to the backyard to show me how her dog would chase boxes that she would throw.
While in the backyard, Miss Dee showed me how she has to get out of her house. Her front door only completely shuts from the inside of the house. To get to her car, she has to go through her fenced-in backyard. The problem is that the gate on her fence does not fit her fence and she has to makeshift rig the gate to the fence so that her dog can play in the backyard without escaping. It takes a long time and too much energy for Miss Dee to detach, remove, and replace the heavy gate every time she needs to leave the house. That usually means that she stays at the house most of the time.
As a Christian, what is my responsibility with a Miss Dee? What is your responsibility with a Miss Dee? Miss Dee is a 82 year old lady who has become a widow after loosing her husband years ago. She has no family what-so-ever in the surrounding area to check in on her or take care of her needs. Who helps bring in the groceries? Who mows her lawn? Who does she spend holidays with?
She wept after I told her that we were going to paint her house, put up a new fence with a new gate, and make her yard nice during Sulphur Springs Workcamp. Literally wept.
But I feel I should do more. After the mission trip, I need to check up on Miss Dee. I need to stop by just to see how she is doing and if she needs any help with anything. I need to invite her over during holidays just like I would my own grandmother. Not just because I like her; not just because it is the right thing to do; but because God commands us to take care of widows. James 1:27 says that taking care of Miss Dee is “religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless.”
What do you think? What are our responsibilities to a Miss Dee? Are there any Miss Dee’s in your life? What are you doing to take care of all the Miss Dee’s around the world?