In HER Shoes – Ruth (Week 2)
Hello Mummy Meditators! Welcome to the Week 2 Summary Post. We’ve really enjoyed reading and watching your contributions to the page during the week. This week we have been meditating on the following verse:
“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1: 16-17
In HER Shoes
This week the story of Ruth moves on. Following the sudden deaths of their husbands, Ruth and Orpah find themselves as widows alongside Naomi. Naomi learns that there is a harvest in Israel and decides to return to her home country. At the beginning of their journey Naomi, full of sorrow, encourages her daughters in law to return to their families in Moab. Orpah returns whilst Ruth makes this emphatic speech in verses 16 – 17. During our Facebook Live we chatted about how this statement shows Ruth’s courage and her heart for Naomi – something we will draw on later. It demonstrates that Ruth is loyal and committed but she is also brave. Rachel spoke about this in last weeks summary but this verse is a key reminder of the situation that Ruth found herself in. Grieving for her loss and fearful of the next steps, she is unwavering in her decision to join Naomi. Ruth’s choice of language is powerful and emotive. It evokes thoughts of it being a declaration or an oath and many of the Mum’s commented on the parallels between Ruth’s words and their marriage vows. Whilst not all Mums in the group are married it was lovely to read those contributions from those who had written their own vows.
One of the key thoughts this week is the relationship between Naomi and Ruth. One Mum shared a post to the group that made her think that Naomi must have been warm, loving and showing God (in some way) to Ruth. Clearly Ruth was drawn to stay with Naomi despite the fear of the unknown. She even boldly declares that Naomi’s God will be her God even though she had no claim to the Jewish faith. Their relationship is a model of a good and committed relationship which feels counter-cultural to the individualistic world we live in. This dynamic relationship prompted me to think about our own influences. From where do we draw our influences and who do/could we influence with the light of Jesus? We don’t know the intimate conversations, hopes, fears and tensions that blended Naomi and Ruth together but it is encouraging to know that by just being who we are in this crazy season of mummying God can use and transform lives. Be encouraged – God CAN and WILL use you even in the most unlikely of situations.
During the Facebook Live we talked about Ruth and her statement, Naomi and Ruth’s relationship and I briefly spoke about Orpah, the woman who decided not to stay with them. It was, of course, Orpah’s right to return home. Naomi had no sons that she could offer up in marriage to Orpah or Ruth so Orpah was free to return home and re-marry. Ruth and Naomi shared a strong faith-based bond so how come Orpah didn’t? If we believe that Naomi allowed both women to see, hear and feel her relationship with God then how come one follows and the other returns home? I re-read the verses around this weeks passage and noted that these women make their decisions whilst “on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah” (Ruth 1: 7). These woman were on a path together, a journey but one decided to take a different course. Some people will make the journey of faith with us and some will choose not to. Ruth is deeply moved by Orpah’s decision to leave but they are at different stages on their walk towards the Lord. Sharing and living out our faith openly with other women can bring depth and intimacy to a relationship (like Ruth) but don’t feel despondent if that doesn’t see them get to know Jesus (like Orpah). Keep going along the path because God uses every circumstance.
Next week we leave Moab behind and follow Ruth who, having made the decision to stay and take care of Naomi, finds herself in Bethlehem. Cue the dramatic music! And cue our verse:
“And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favour.” Ruth 2: 2
Join Rachel this Monday night at 8pm who will kick off our week meditating on this verse.