Building Houses

“Naomi [Ruth’s] mother-in-law said to her, “My daughter, shouldn’t I seek security for you, so that things might go well for you?” Ruth 3:1

These words spoken by a widow to a widow in a world where widows didn’t fair well, were only the beginning of a bold, brazen plan. Perhaps it was desperation or a matter of faith. We don’t know, but the outcome was worth it.

Naomi instructed Ruth to bathe, dress in her finest and put on her favorite perfume. Ruth did as instructed: she went to the threshing floor and waited for Boaz to fall asleep. She slipped in beside him and when he awoke she asked him to redeem her because he was a kinsman redeemer.

One wonders if Boaz was thinking about this anyway. If he was, he was slow and Naomi and Ruth didn’t have much time left. What they did was subversive, but they demanded of the Law the promise of a new chance at life.

Ruth would become one of the ancestors of Jesus. A man who reached out daily to widows and orphans and the poor and sinners. He redeemed not just those living on the edge of society: he redeemed the entire world. You and me and our neighbor.

I wonder at the courage it must have taken Ruth to approach Boaz knowing that he could ruin her reputation and her life. I wonder at the courage it took to reach out boldly for redemption.

What about me? Do I have the courage to move boldly into the unknown? Do I have what it takes to reach out boldly in the name of our Redeemer?

Ruth’s action could have cost her her life. Jesus’ action cost him his life. But both received new life and resurrection.

Maybe it’s not so difficult for us today in light of the odds that Ruth faced.

All glory and honor be to God. Amen.

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