“The difference between a broken community and a thriving one is the PRESENCE OF WOMEN WHO ARE VALUED.” - Michelle Obama
I think of Mary, the mother of Jesus, at this time of year. Her value to the world is beyond measure, but it was not so at the time of her pregnancy.
Mary could have been one of our neighbors in Orange Mound. Her circumstances in Nazareth, 2000 years ago are similar in some ways to the many women we employ.
- She was rejected by her neighbors and labeled immoral.
- She was poor.
- She had no voice of influence.
- She had a baby coming and no guarantee of a dad that would stick around.
- She had an impossible role ahead, but for God.
Here at My Cup of Tea, those conditions are all too familiar. Our sisters are on a steep path to stability with dignity. They are climbing out of the harsh insults of yesterday. Too many broken neighborhoods are home to a mom as the sole provider. Many houses will be without utilities this winter. Many single moms will be without diapers, healthy food, and child support. There is nothing easy about the life of a single mom in the margins.
The Book of Proverbs promotes hard work and frugality, and yet every single mom I work with is already working hard and pinching pennies. Statistics say a person born into poverty will probably stay there.
Economic prosperity is rarely a derivative of good choices and “clean living.” Our American pride says, “look what I did”! and “My money is mine,” but few of us, recognize the givens and gifts from those who came before us. At this Christmas Season, the Owner of it all, who has graced us with more than we need, tells us to walk in the way of His Son, who gave up everything with His arms stretched and His hands open. We can be extravagant in the now because He has come to make us heirs of the greatest wealth of all in the future.
This year, I encourage you to be extravagant in your generosity and consider giving to the work in Orange Mound.
The women at My Cup of Tea need our help, but they will be just fine because they already know their value. The King of the Universe, Creator and Sustainer has already told them,
“YOU ARE MY DAUGHTER. I AM THE FATHER TO THE FATHERLESS,
I AM THE HUSBAND TO THE WIDOW.”
We cannot say that too often or thank Him enough.