Naomi and Ruth.
Strong. Brave. Bold.
Even, so. No one seemed to notice them way back then.
Naomi was a foreigner in Ruth’s country.
Ruth married Naomi’s son. He died. Naomi’s other son and husband also died.
Naomi decided to go back to her homeland. Naomi told Ruth and her other daughter-in-law to go back to their families of origin.
Ruth committed to love and serve Naomi:
“BUT Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to 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. (Ruth 1:16, NIV).
These powerful words were read as Gregg and I walked down the aisle so long ago. We wanted the ending of our wedding service to tell the beginning of our marriage story. It was a sacred moment to walk together as the church bells rang and Ruth’s words were declared.
It underlined our commitment to not only love one another but all of humanity.
It framed our mission: Love all. Serve all.
It was our catalyst to adopt internationally.
It’s our definition of community.
It’s our answer.
The thing is . . .
Ruth, daugher-in-law of Naomi, left her homeland out of love.
In those days, foreigners were rejected, women were devalued, and the poor were unseen.
They had God’s MORE, the favor of love and grace. Their response to God’s favor remained through it all: to love and to serve. (Read their story in the Old Testament book entitled, Ruth).
The two women entered Naomi’s homeland with nothing . . . however, they gained an unforgettable position in God’s story, becoming a part of Jesus’ genealogy:
Matthew’s written words reveal the economy of God’s favor: It’s for all—then and now.
The mission of these two women defined our life-together.
The mission is the same now as it was then: Love all. Serve all. —Kerrie
Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2018 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
(Pictures by Shelly Mackerell Photography)