She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. (Mark 5:27)
Relate: The single mother is a fairly common sight here as well as in America and the West but for very different reasons. Here it is sometimes because the husbands and fathers have gone off to fight and die for one side or another of the mess that is the multisided Syrian civil war. More often the father has sent his family off to safety while he remained behind to work and support them, or he has gone on ahead into Germany, the UK, or somewhere else to save up and begin to prepare while the rest of the family looks to join up through more legal means. That illegal, but often necessary immigration is safer and easier for one man to make alone than for a husband and father to try with his family, but it leaves the women behind with kids almost as if they were widowed or divorced for a time themselves.
No matter the reason, this growing worldwide trend of single mothers presents unique challenges simply because throughout most of history it simply could not exist in such numbers. In Israel during Jesus time and before, very few women would be able to live on their own, let alone do so while raising kids. A girl lived with her father until she was old enough to marry. Then she lived with her husband. If he died she would either remarry quickly, go back to living with her father, or if her children were old enough then she would live with them. This last case was most likely the one Mary and Jesus were in. Although the Bible doesn’t mention it, most scholars think one of the reasons Jesus did not begin his public ministry until thirty was because he remained at home until his brothers were old enough to be able to support the family. My dad died in my late teen years and I can only imagine what it would have been like at that age having to leave college to go back home and support my family. Back then the human race simply could not grasp the concept of working mothers or relatively equal wages. There is still room for improvement on that last point but thank God we have evolved to where the concept is possible and desirable.