This passage follows the migration of Naomi and her family to Moab, the death of her husband and sons and the aftermath for Naomi and her widowed daughters-in-law, Ruth & Orpah. I was immediately drawn to the urgency of this passage and the contradictions that so beautifully reflect the experience of humans in times of despair and crisis— simultaneously pushing our loved ones away while desiring to keep them close.
In our contemporary world, there seems to be no shortage of hopelessness, grief, anger, and despair in which we would find ourselves acting like Naomi and Orpah- abandoning our loved ones or pushing them away, feeling unworthy of their love. Yet, we find Ruth modeling the promise of our God—to hold fast, to be near to us despite our own failures and in our deepest moments of suffering. The fidelity of our God to his people calls on us to remain in relationship despite our misery, recognizing it is our path forward.
God, you hold onto your people with a great love. During the increasing times of turmoil in our world, let us model the same devotion to our fellow man, knowing that you will be holding onto us. Amen.
Garret Zastoupil, Graduate Student, Young Adult & Graduate Student Coordinator
Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.Ruth 1:14