For the single mom who feels invisible

Next Sunday, as you take your seat, look around the room carefully. Do you see her?

C 'is the one who has three jobs, despite being followed by the pain of abuse. Or the one who overcomes the shame of having had a child outside of wedlock. Or the one who entered the country illegally for a better life, but who lives in poverty. The one who is widowed with 4 children. The one who was raped and who kept the child. Or the one who had never thought that she would one day divorce.

France has 2 million single mothers, the United States 15 million, and your country probably also has a very large number. One in four children would be raised without a father and half of them would live below the poverty line.

This mother was my mother. She became a single mother at the age of 17. Married young, she suffered physical and psychological abuse. She fought to try to have her own resources and eventually divorced. Once alone, she continued to take care of her 3 children, while working hard to increase her resources and learn new skills.

Women like her are all around us, but sometimes it seems like they are invisible. The children are well dressed and well fed. They come to church and show no outward sign of their distress behind their smile. If we don't pay them attention, they won't spontaneously come and ask for help. A single mother once told me:

“I don't like asking for help. As a single mom my biggest fear is that I am not sufficient for my children. "

Life offers us many opportunities to be able to help these mothers and their children. Single mothers need support regarding their feelings of abandonment, anger and worry about unforeseen situations in life. With just one salary, they have to meet all the expenses of life for their families. The weight of these responsibilities often has repercussions on their health and well-being. They must face the judgment of others who think they have “failed” their marriage, or that they have had children outside of marriage.

Having participated in many initiatives to help single mothers I believe that the deep reason why these moms are touched is that we tell them through it:

“We see you. We care, we may not know how to help and certainly we will do things very imperfectly, but there is something we can do. "

Our call goes back to this command from Jesus to his disciples:

"I give you a new commandment: Love one another"
John 13:34

Jesus made visible the love of the invisible God, he addressed himself to all, to orphans, to the poor, to the sick, to widows,… Single mothers are led to believe that they depend only on them and that “God helps those who help themselves”. The Church can deliver a radically different message by saying:

"Let us help you".

Lori Harding

source: Christianity Today

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