Happy Maundy Thursday. I hope everyone is having a great week. We’re on the back nine of the weekend. Yah!!
I mentioned before that I have always had an interest in genealogy. Perhaps some of that interest was because I had the pleasure of actually knowing my Great Grandparents on my Moms side, my Great Aunts on my Dad’s side, as well as my Moms Great Aunt, my Great Great Aunt in her Dad’s side. Wow!! Unfortunately my Dad’s Grandparents passed away before I was born. So studying and exploring my genealogy helped me know them better.
This interest started way before the internet and ancestry.com existed. I made trips to Virginia, The National Archives in Washington DC, and local trips that I took with my Mom. Those trips were and are my favorite and are memories her and I share together. I remember when I showed her the grave of her Great Great Grandparents. She had to ask me a few times to be sure she understood correctly.
Unfortunately time passes and not all of our relatives gravesites are disclosed through generations. It’s just an amazing feeling when you link those pieces together. (Www.findagrave.com)
Ruth is one of those people that just really made an impression on people. She was humble and kind. Ruth was born in Moab which was frequently an enemy of Israel. She was also a Gentile which will become significant later. When the famine hit the land of Judah Naomi, her husband and their Sons and Wives fled from Bethlehem to Moab for relief. Ruth was married to Mahlon and her sister Orpah married Kilion his brother. After 10 years both brothers died. Noah’s husband passed away earlier.
Ruth out of love and loyalty to her Mother in law stayed with Naomi and cared for her. Naomi and Ruth traveled back to Bethlehem while Naomi’s sister stayed in Moab with her husband. Naomi played matchmaker and introduced Ruth to a distant relative named Boaz.
Ruth became Jewish my choice. She abandoned her Pagan Gods and left her lifelong home. Ruth was the mother of Obed, father of Jesse who’s son was the greatest King of Israel ….David.
Ruth was a very hardworking woman. She would work in the grain fields to get leftover grain for her and Naomi. Her loyalty to her mother in law payed off by then marrying Boaz who in turn who took care of her.
The book of Ruth is actually a short read. It might take you 15 minutes if that. I suggest you read it for yourself because you might glean a different perspective from it.
Things that I learned from the Book of Ruth?
1. God loves everyone of all races. Ruth was a Moabite not a Jew and discriminated against by many. God loved her just the same.
2. Men and women are equal to God. He used both men and women in their own way.
3. God uses little things to accomplish big things. It took a series of little events that eventually will lead us to Jesus. Our Lord and Savior.
The big thing that stuck out for me though was that Ruth didn’t have to stay and help Naomi. She could’ve stayed with her Sister. I remember a story I heard a long time ago about how you never know when you could be helping an Angel or what if that homeless person was God? Testing us? I recalled a very cold winter night this past year, we passed the square in our town. It was about 10 pm, very cold, and we were returning from one of my sister-friends homes. (A friend that’s more like a sister). We got caught at the red light when our younger son looked over and saw a homeless man sleeping in the square on a bench. First of all, this is NOT a normal siting in our town. We live in a small community in a rural area. So when I saw “square, I mean a four way intersection with a stop light at each intersection”. The little historical society on one side, a karate school where the bench is positioned, a parking lot to a local pharmacy, and a bank that still resembles the one originally there when the town was created.
Our hearts sank because we knew this man was going to freeze. The temps were dropping and not getting any better. Our only thought was giving him warmer clothing and blankets, plus a backpack with necessities such as a bottle or two of water, snacks, cereal bars, I even included a toothbrush, paste, deodorant, soap, and some paper and a pen. I did call my friend Lynn immediately because she’s assisted with helping the homeless so I consulted with her. I didn’t want to give this man money. Money he could spend on things “not needed for survival”. She also warned me to not go alone. We didn’t. We went as a family of 4. My boys, my husband and I gathered things around our home to offer to a man I had no idea who he was.
Of course, along with excitement to help a person in need we were also cautious. Luckily as I said he was in the middle of town where traffic was still passing through. He actually didn’t want any help. He refused the warmer items, but finally agreed to at least take the back pack of food. Lynn suggested if we’re ever in this situation again that a gift card to a fast food place is nice so they can eat and get warm. Also you’re not giving them money. GREAT IDEA!
I didn’t tell you this story to brag or feel good about myself. I did it because it’s the right thing to do. It’s who I am, and who I’ll always be. If you need something, I will help how I can. Sometimes to my own fault. I’m learning but not hardened by my fault to a degree generosity. Like Ruth, I don’t HAVE to do these things but I do them because it makes someone else feel good. When I see them smile, I know I did my job.
Am I suggesting you help every pan handler that approaches you? Absolutely not. I’m suggesting be kinder than normal because you never know what battle another person could be facing.
I found the story I was talking about. It’s the one referring to a lady named Ruth ironically. However, not this Ruth. It’s merely coincidental. Please enjoy: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081122222055AAg2nQB
Lord, please watch over those who are in need. I pray that you will put your loving arms around them to give them warmth. I pray that they can find peace and comfort. Amen
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