This line in Jane’s prayer reminds us that we are God’s hands and feet here on earth. It specifically echoes the biblical passages that teach us to care for orphans and widows (James 1:27) and visit prisoners (Hebrews 13:3). During Jesus’ earthly ministry, he fed, taught, healed, and cared for the people around him. As his followers, we are extensions of him, called to help the helpless and defend the powerless.
In Jane’s novels, we see many examples of practical caretaking. Mr. Knightley gives baskets of apples to the Bateses and sends his carriage for them. Edward Ferrars’s father sets up an annuity in his will for three elderly servants. Mr. Darcy uses his power and wealth to save Lydia from ruin. And Sir John Middleton offers Barton Cottage to Mrs. Dashwood “on very easy terms” after her husband’s death.
. . . and heartily do we pray for the safety of all that travel by Land or by Sea, for the comfort & protection of the Orphan & Widow, & that thy pity may be shewn, upon all Captives & Prisoners.
Do you know someone who needs to experience the tangible love of God in their lives?