Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’
For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'”
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:1-8
A dear friend is currently a UCC missionary in Cape Town, South Africa, working with women who have HIV. My little church is involved in selling the beadwork the women are doing, including little badges with the red ribbon. The money raised goes directly to the women, for such things as groceries and medical expenses. The result of what seems like very little income to us has been for them a great boost to self-esteem.
With self-esteem comes the courage to speak up for oneself. When one of the women insisted that her husband wear a condom, to protect herself from an increased viral load, he refused and assaulted her.
I think of the widow in Luke and her persistence and pray this woman will not lose heart.