The story of Ruth is one of commitment and dedication, of love that triumphs over adversity. Perhaps that is the main lesson to be learned.
However, as I read these verses today, I wondered if there was another lesson here as well. I wondered again why Naomi wanted to send her two daughters-in-law away. She had lost her husband and both sons. I’m sure her heart was broken. She probably couldn’t imagine life without them. But in the stupidity of grief, she pushed away those dearest to her, trying to send her daughters-in-law back to their families. Only after much weeping did Orpah reluctantly leave her. Ruth insisted on staying with Naomi and ultimately was the catalyst to a new life for both of them.
Sometimes, in our grief, we push away those people we need for support. Sometimes we just can’t imagine anyone else loving us enough to stick with us through our pain. Perhaps we need to learn Naomi’s lesson: to accept the love and support of those God sends to us.
Thank you for friends who share our pain. Help us accept their love graciously. Amen. — KG