Mrs. Looyenga is a mother in the Protestant Reformed Church in South Holland, Illinois.

The land is parched here.

Not one small, tender root has sprouted forth

from this cracked ground,

it seems,


Our god, our Baal,

is found to be

no friend to widow

or to fatherless.

It is my guess that

one small meal remains

for us—

my son and me.

We’ll eat—and then we’ll die.

Already Hunger pains us daily—


with Death not far behind.

And now,

who stands before,

who speaks to me?

And has he come

just to remind this widow

of her terrible lack—

requesting all I have

in this, my barren life,

for sustenance?

If favored Israel starves for daily bread,

then who am I to feed

the great Jehovah’s prophet—

widow of Zidon, nearly dead?

And yet,

I move at his command.

There is in me a parchedness

this man of God requites.

There is a longing of the soul

e’en as I give my widow’s mites,

that he can satisfy,

I know it to be true.

And so I do

what I am told to do.

Although my empty stomach

has a burning ache—

as does my little son’s—

already there is quenching of my soul.

I’ll gather just a few more sticks

and pat together one small cake,

which I’ll serve graciously to him.

“Fear not.”

His kind words stop my toil

and I look up.

“This barrel from which you scrape meal,

this cruse of oil—

they shall not fail

until the rain shall fall once more.

Israel’s Jehovah speaks this word.”

I pour for him

and pour again for us,

abundant oil—

oil running over this dry meal

as rain falls on a dusty land.

My heart soaks up the goodness

of Jehovah, Israel’s God,

and I know now

we never shall be poor,

we’ll never lack for more

to soothe our pains

when in our hearts

He rains.