We can read this story as simply a resurrection story (as if there is anything simple about that) or we can recognise what is really going on here: this is a widow who’s son has now died. She has nothing. She has no place in society. She has, through no fault of her own, fallen through the prejudices and fears and abandonment of her society. What Jesus does is include her again: Jesus brings back her security, her place, her support network and community all of which had been removed from her.
Now how might this speak into today!!!!
When you look at the US you feel you are in biblical times when rulers are seen to be despots and bullies, quite openly bullies, who have their own version of the truth which they actually believe and any speaking truth to power, any show of hurt or human emotion shows not one ounce of compassion on the man who simply ridicules folk and is singularly unmoved by what is going on in airports and demonstrations across the US. And where is that whole set of leaders in the Republican party who are saying nothing, who are waiting to see where the gravity of popular opinion lands before they show their hand. This is the very worst of our humanity, letting people fall through the cracks, showing no compassion for those who seek help. This is the widow multiplied 1000-fold.
Yet there too we see the very best of our humanity as folk go out their way to say not all of us are like that. This is resurrection of the son for it says there is restoration, there is inclusion, there is bringing back into community. It just seems the miracle of the Bible is actually more believable than what we see going on in the US.
Perhaps when this is all over, as surely it will be one day, we all learn from this, globally, and we liberal, faithful, compassionate humans learn to put our lives on the line to stop bullies getting anywhere near the widow, the orphan and the poor.