The first reading in today’s treading gives us the beautiful story of Elijah and his encounter with the widow of Zarepheth. Elijah is hungry and thirsty and first asks for a cup of water which she gives him. When he asks for some of her bread, she tells him she has barely enough flour and little oil to bake the bread. Elijah encourages her to TRUST that if she just uses what little flour and oil she has to bake him a small loaf, God would provide. She does and has enough flour for the next year.
Even Jesus loves this story for he uses the example of the widow of Zarepheth to show how “outsiders” are blest because of their faith and trust. This is a call for all of us to trust in God, especially when we are at the end of our patience, when the “well runs dry and the flour runs out.” Sometimes mixing up the metaphors serves a purpose!!
Sometimes, I feel as though my hope is running out and I become discouraged. Or maybe my patience is running low. All the events of the past few weeks have demoralized so many of us as we experience how deep fear and prejudices run. Like the widow, we can feel vulnerable to realities occurring around us of which we have little control.
The widow exposed herself to Elijah trusting that he would understand her predicament and have compassion for her wanting to provide for her child. Elijah accepted her situation and encouraged her to put all her trust in God who would help her to provide. An abundance of flour came forth from an abundance of love.
May we heed the advice of Elijah and place our total trust in God who will help us to see the painful realities we are confronting with new eyes, giving birth to new perspectives, creating a new heart.