Do You Have “Ruth”?

ImageIf I use the word “Ruth” what comes to your mind? Maybe first you would think of the book in the Bible about a Moabite woman who left her land and her gods to follow and stay with her mother-in-law after the death of her husband. Ruth’s faithfulness got her noticed by a wealthy kinsman named Boaz who not only helped them financially, he married Ruth, and they were the great grandparents of the Psalmist King David. Then there was a soap opera actress who was a soap diva that ruled Pine Valley for 35 years named Ruth Warrick. Did you know that in Hebrew, Ruth is a unisex name? I had a very good friend named Ruth who kept my little sister in dresses and under-wear for years when the church was new and there was not much money. She more typified the true meaning of the word Ruth, “Compassion for the misery of another” .The flip side of the coin is  “ruthless”, I am sure you have heard of that word, yes? It means “feeling or showing no mercy; hardhearted.” Another word that comes to mind with “ruth” is “empathy” which means “identification with and understanding of another’s situation, feelings, and motives.” I wrote a friend of mine a little note, a private message on a social media page; she is a person I have known from a distance for years but never up close and personal. When I heard that her child had been found dead it struck my heart and I wanted her to know that I cared about her feelings and felt her pain. I couldn’t have felt it so strongly if I hadn’t lost my own dad so recently, of course as I said to her, “there is a great difference between losing your dad who has lived 95 wonderful years and your child who’s life has just begun”, but the point is that I let her know someone was thinking of her. Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.  1 John 4:8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  John 11:4 is the shortest verse in the Bible yet it shows the humanity of Jesus… When He saw the sisters of his friend Lazarus, “Jesus wept”.  We know that He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5). When we sing the old hymn “He knows the bitter weary way, the endless striving day by day, the souls that weep the souls that pray, He knows, He knows” that is isn’t just a group of words strung together to make a rhyme, but a real, true statement of fact. If you want to be like Jesus then you must be a person that has that “ruth” and “empathy”, a person that feels the needs of others and is willing to help in a time of need. Jesus said that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us, does that mean that if you are good to people they will always be good to you? I wish I could answer that with a yes but sadly there are some folk who are takers and nothing you do for them is ever enough for them to recognize who you are or say a simple “thank you”, however it doesn’t take the responsibility away from you to do the right thing.  It can be good bad or indifferent, but it does come back to you, the way a boomerang comes back to the one who throws it. Since I was a little girl I have heard my dad use this misquote, both in sermons and at the table: “Cast your bread upon the waters and after many days it will return unto you pound cake!” King James literally says: Ecclesiastes 11:1 Cast your bread upon the waters, For you will find it after many days. No matter what you are going through, why don’t you cast a little bread out there and see what happens?

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