6 When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. 8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. 9 May the Lord grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.” Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.” 11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!” 14 At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her. 15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.” 16 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. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her. 19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?” (Ruth 1:6-19 NIV)
One of the things I love about the story of Ruth and Naomi is the trek that they take from Moab to Bethlehem. Its not the actual trek but what it symbolizes for me. Its a transition point in their lives. Here, Naomi has lost her husband and 2 sons. In these times, women stayed at home and the men went out to work to take care of the family. Not only has she lost love and parts of herself, but she's also lost income. How will she be taken care of? What will she do? Then she hears how God is taking care of His people. So she leaves the area her husband had brought her to and goes back home. How many of us can relate to just wanting to be close to family when it all hits the fan? When life shatters your heart and stomps over the broken pieces?
Naomi speaks from her heart when she tells her daughters-in-law to go home to their people. But she calls them "daughters". She sees them as parts of her. While she is bitter, her love for them supersedes this bitterness. 1 stays and 1 goes. 1 takes the easy road and goes back home. The other proclaims that God is her God and won't allow Naomi to leave her behind. This Ruth, some have called a visionary.
I am reminded of the words of Maya Angelou that have become the signature of my emails - Attract what you Expect, Reflect what you Desire, Become what you Respect, Mirror what you Admire.
Naomi attracted love as the inner most of her expected it. Only a mother would want her child to go on without her if she could not give her what she needed. Loving someone doesn't always mean holding on. Sometimes, the best way to love is to let go.
In Naomi, Ruth saw her desire to be more. She saw the reflection of God's light and love. Check those around you and see if what you want your life to be is reflected in your inner circle. Reflect is to throw back (heat, light, or sound) without absorbing it. What are you giving those around you? Whose light do you reflect?
How could she become the Woman of God she saw if she didn't respect the Woman of God she followed? Each day, we have the opportunity to elevate our spirits to higher heights. To love more, be more and learn more. Each day, we have the chance to glean from a tree. But, to which tree are you sitting under and learning from? Whose table are you eating from? Who are you becoming?
I watched an interview with Robyn Roberts and Michelle Obama Sunday night. It was an awesome interview that included Mrs. Obama's inner circle. Each woman brought something special to the table that they used to help improve themselves. Ruth and Naomi had a 2 woman inner circle. They learned from each other, leaned on one another, loved each other without boundaries. The level of admiration that they gave one another surpassed bloodlines and the age gap. If your mirror has cracks, throw it out and get a new one!
Each day, one of my goals is to learn something new. Sometimes it comes from my inner circle, sometimes it comes from a stranger, often it comes from reading. But, what I like most - is that I'm open to the experiences. Each day, I'm walking out my Expectations, Desires, Respect, and Admiration or not only those around me but of myself. I'm learning to Attract, Reflect, Become and Mirror more and more the God that I serve and love with my whole heart. I'm Walking It Out.....this journey called life and truly starting to enjoy the process.
Be A Blessing and Not Just Blessed