In HER Shoes – Ruth (Week 3)
Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening Mummy Meditators! Whenever you are finding time to read this post I hope it finds you well. I am sure most of us, after this weeks pondering, will say that we are probably in a better place economically and socially than Ruth. Although mentally and spiritually she seems pretty strong. Do join me as I share what God has been saying this week to me and what we have discussed as a group too.
This week we were meditating together on the following verse:
“And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favour.” Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” Ruth 2:2
Always Aware That She Is An Outsider
Once again the writer of this book has reminded us that Ruth is an outsider, a Moabite. To me this seems a little excessive – I mean we all read the first chapter where it states that they moved and married women from Moab. Why is the author repeating this fact over and over again? Was it to highlight something positive or negative about this detail of Ruth’s life? I mean its a bit harsh to keep going on about something that Ruth cannot possible change. She is a victim to the truth that she is from Moab.
Negatively, I think the author is reminding the audience that Israelites weren’t supposed to marry with other races. They were supposed to keep themselves a pure race that honoured God and shined out his light. But here is just a small example of the way in which they failed. Ruth shouldn’t be there.
Positively though this highlights the face that, even though Ruth SHOULDN’T be there, she is! And God is working in that and showing the Israelites that His love extends past just the Israelites. The constant reminder of her nationality may not be totally negative after all.
A Woman of Gumption
Gumption I think is the perfect word to describe Ruth. The definition “shrewd or spirited initiative and resourcefulness” definitely describes her here. She is not sitting around with a “woe is me!!” attitude or going to the depths of grief as Naomi is. She is rising up out of the ashes and deciding that life won’t carry on that way. She has thought of a plan to provide for her and Naomi to make sure they don’t die, and she is poised to implement it.
Ruth is willing to do whatever it takes to look after them both, such is the love and respect she has for Naomi. Gleaning wouldn’t have been glamorous or fun, and it would have been a very public declaration of how poor they were and how low Naomi’s family had fallen. In the Facebook Community we tried hard to put this in a modern day perspective – perhaps going to food banks which have become so prevalent lately, or dumpster diving is similar? Zero hours contracts and cash in hand jobs doing whatever is available were also mentioned. Shopping in charity shops was also mentioned. All of these may involve that feeling of shame, and having to make a decision to step out of your comfort zone to receive the help that you need.
When we fall into problems or hardships do we have a pity party? Or are we women of gumption who pick ourselves up out of our grief and sorrow and use our initiative and resourcefulness to make sure we survive?
At the end of this week’s verse we see this beautiful moment where Naomi says “Go ahead, my daughter”. What a tender and loving moment that we get to witness. Not only does Naomi provide approval for her plan and resourcefulness, but acceptance of her as a true daughter, not just a daughter-in-law. As we stepped into Ruth’s shoes this week, this verse lifted our spirits and brought warmth to our hearts, but also reminded us of the pressure that Ruth was under to provide for them both. A true daughter was now part of the family and had to make sure the family continued. If she failed to find food then they would both die.
How do you cope with the weight of responsibility that lies on your shoulders? As a mother, a wife, a carer? Do you shoulder it with the grace and willingness that Ruth did?
The character of Boaz appears in next week’s verse! I do hope you’ll join me and over 800 other mums in meditating on the following verse:
“So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” Ruth 2:8-9
I’ll be hosting the Facebook Live discussion again over in the Facebook Group tomorrow night at 8pm, so I look forward to seeing you then to discuss your opinions on Boaz!!