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A Widow's Plea
by James Vasquez
In ancient Israel's land there lived,
A widow with her boys,
Both fatherless and penniless,
And few their daily joys.
For though the father had revered,
The Lord in every way,
His gift was not to save a coin,
Nor growing debts repay.
And when expired, he left behind,
An ample sum quite due,
Which sons and mother could not pay,
And daily only grew.
The creditor then sent this word,
Since she could not comply,
Advising her in sternest tones,
To bid her sons goodbye.
For he would make of them his slaves,
Quite legally approved,
So having lost her husband now,
Her sons would be removed.
In desperation then she turned,
And urgently did plead,
That blest Elisha bend his ear,
And kindly intercede.
"And what is found within your house?"
The prophet did implore,
And learned that nothing there remained,
But meager oil, no more.
"Now go," he said, "and of your friends,
Each woman, every man,
For jars that they may lend inquire,
And gather all you can.
"Take every vessel to your home,
And when you've closed the door,
With only your two sons beside,
Proceed the oil to pour."
Now she had learned to listen well,
When prophets were inclined,
To speak a word from God that might,
Reveal what he designed.
And soon she learned just what he planned,
How kind his mercies are,
As endlessly the stream of oil,
She poured to fill each jar,
And only took her rest at last,
When there remained not one,
Among the jars as yet unfilled,
Brought in by either son.
And there before her she beheld,
In vessels running o'er,
God's rich provision for her plight,
That covered all the floor.
She hastened to Elisha then,
And told him what occurred,
And calmly this great man of God,
Then spoke to her this word,
"Now sell all that you need to pay,
The debts your husband left,
That you may not this day be found,
Of home and sons bereft."
Then joyously the widow turned,
And joined her sons once more,
They last were seen with arms upraised,
Within the temple door.
from the May 2004 Edition of the Jewish Magazine