News of disease, death and distress is nationwide. Economic savings evaporate, and markets tumble. Hopelessness engulfs as support systems fail and means of sustenance disappear. The grieving widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17) would surely understand our hopelessness. She experienced excruciating pain in the face of a bleak future devoid of hope. Her only son, on which she depended, died, leaving her vulnerable. Indeed, this painful reality is large writ nationwide as grieving widows and mourners grow exponentially.
As Jesus led His disciple toward the village of Nain, they hear the wails of pain. The grief-stricken widow headed the funeral procession. In a male-dominated society like ours, with no male to support, the widow of Nain faces social, spiritual, and financial trauma; as she journeys into an unknown and hurting land. Jesus’ encounter with the widow of Nain was in the right place and time, as He met her in the moment of most profound need. When Jesus saw her, ‘ His heart went out to her, and He said, “Don’t cry.” (v.13). To be sure, Jesus knows all our struggles before we are and compassionately comes to meet us in our pain, as He did for the widow.
Why would Jesus tell a grieving widow not to cry? Because Jesus knew He could breathe hope into her hopelessness. Unmindful of human customs that touching a dead body makes a person impure. Jesus, the God incarnate by His touch, consumes all impurity. Jesus transferred life to the corpse. He rescued and restored both the mother and her son to life and hope, revealing God’s heart for the helpless and hopeless. Jesus uses His power compassionately to give life.
As Jesus met the grieving widow, He’ll meet us. We can count on His compassion and His coming. Now, Jesus grieves with us and promises to wipe all our tears, with the promise of glory that awaits us. Trust Jesus to give us His presence, power, and peace. Watch for Him; He’s on the way. Cling to Jesus.