I am Ruth and I live in Moab. When a famine hit the family of Elimelech moved here, his wife, Naomi and sons Chilian and Mahlon. Orpah and I were married to them, but of time, all the men died and Naomi was grieved and bitter, even calling herself, Mara, like the bitter waters.
She urged Orpah and I to return to our own families and remarry and that she would return to Bethlehem. Naturally, we did not want her to leave but she insisted, making the statement that she could no longer bear sons and if she could it would be a long tie to wait for them. We knew she was distraught.
For whatever reason, Orpah decided to go home, bit I was persistent and told Naomi that her people were mine, her God, my God and wherever she went that I would go. So we set off to find her old house. After a long journey, we arrived with very little.
There was a lot of work that had to be done. We swept floors, and there was a little water in the well. Then we slept a while before eating our last bit of bread in the morning. Naomi told me of a kinsman with a nearby field and said that I was to go there and glean, so we could eat. I took a basket and left, it was all so different to me, but it felt right.
After a while in the fields, I was tired. Boaz, the owner let the poor and widowed glean from the corners of the field. That even we had some soup, it was all I could do to stay awake. Then I met Boaz, he had been told of me and that I was caring for Naomi. He had ordered the men not to bother me and that the women give me water, I found out that he was having handfuls of grain being left on purpose for me. My work was lighter.
Boaz even came to visit us and brought food, some livestock and wine. We had a wonderful dinner. Then he sent servants to repair roof and pens and to dig a new well. When the time of harvest came Naomi told me that I should go to field at night after the celebrations and sleep at his feet, if he covered me, I would be his bride. She said it was the custom among kinsman redeemers.
I was not sure if I was ready to love again, but I had promised to go with her and do as she bade me too. Boaz was handsome, and rode a magnificent steed. He was a dashing figure as he cut across the green hillsides and disappeared into a blue sky every afternoon. More than that, he had been kind to me, protected me, and lightened a heavy load. Naomi’s bitterness was fading, and grief was becoming joy, now that she was warm, clothed and fed.
There was nothing for me in Moab. But God had a plan for me here. After it was dark and most everyone had gone home, I returned in the moonlight and sought out Boaz. I found him asleep and lay at his feet, in the morning I awoke covered in his cloak and asked for my hand in marriage but told me there one other kinsman to consider and he would have to tell him of this, now I was concerned, ” Who was this man, and would he claim me? ”
Boaz went to meet him and sat in a meeting of elders. He was given a shoe as proof that the claim was renounced and we were free to marry. It was a wonderful wedding and feast and I was never happier. I could stand outside and see the fields as mistress of the house, I would sent handmaidens out to leave grain for the women less fortunate, made sure they had water and even took them wine and cheese, clusters of grapes nd figs. I knew what it was like to be alone. a widow and be hungry, to work hard to care for someone else.
I looked across to see Naomi’s house. She was overjoyed to hold my son Obed, and for years to come she would care for him. I was safe and happy in the arms of Boaz, and our son would have a son, Jesse, who would have seven sons and one would one day be a king. God was good to this Moabitess, I am even in the lineage of Jesus. I was grateful that Naomi’s people were my people and her God my God, and she was grateful for a daughter in law who stayed and was her closest friend.
Avi Richards / Unslpash