Count me among the many that are utterly charmed by the Usagi Drop anime. This past week featured a new character, Yukari Nitani, a single mom. The connection may be loose, but I thought of the Book of James, which among other books of the Bible, tells followers to care for widows and orphans:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
— James 1:27
A concern for early Christians was caring for the weak and most powerless in 1st century Palestine. And though widowhood may be less common percentage-wise these days, I think the same thought is true – we should be caring for those who need it. Yukari is no widow – but she is a single mom, and as can be expected, she is overwhelmed. I doubt that most single mothers, who by necessity develop a toughness of character, want charity, but I’m sure that we can somehow assist those that we know in our own lives. My wife and I once volunteered for Big Brother Big Sister, and I know the simple hours we gave to a single mother in that program by taking her son out were invaluable.
Of course, the comparison for Rin is closer – she is practically an orphan, with a deceased father and an absent mother. Daikichi has done both the honorable and compassionate thing by sacrificing much (another wonderful topic ripe for discussion from this episode) to care for Rin. I hope that we all at some time in our lives at least consider adoption. Max Lucado once tweeted that if every Christian in America adopted one child, there would be no more orphans. Of course, this idea isn’t limited to Christians. Even if your final decision is “no” (and this could be a good answer for a variety of reasons), I hope that we’ll also seriously consider adopting sometime in our lives, rather than leaving it as just a passing thought that we think is nice.
What about you? Do you have experiences with single mothers (maybe you’re own)? Is there something you can do for a single parent that you’re close to? What about adoption – is that something you could see in your future?