One of the Greatest Love Stories in the Bible is about Two Women
By Tori Randolph
Yes. Two women.
The love they share is undeniable.
It is fierce, and it is freeing.
It is a story of two very different women who find themselves in a situation where their only commonality is their grief.
A story of two widows.
A story of in-laws.
A story of hope.
The story of Ruth and Naomi.
The prevalent theme of their story is this: I won’t let you go it alone.
A lot of us give our selfish opinions and call it love because maybe we are supporting someone we love. And some of us support large groups of people with our blanket statements, giving warmth to the coldness of our hearts, thinking the cover will keep out the cold. But it is a cold from within that tricks us into believing our hate of one people is a love for another.
Ruth didn’t disown where she came from, who she came from, who she was to walk with Naomi. She gracefully, quietly, consistently worked alongside a people who were not her people.
Ruth started in the lowest position available. She picked up scraps left behind from harvesting. And it was with these scraps that she cultivated for herself and her mother-in-law a livelihood.
How often do we pick up the scraps; the left behinds, those falling through the cracks. Maybe we are only poured into those who are easy to pick, simple to harvest and graduate, not too heavy to carry. And maybe we’ve even thrown a few scraps out ourselves.
Ruth was so devoted to Naomi that she made herself nothing, and diligently worked in a field without monetary pay. She was the clean-up crew living off what wasn’t good enough for everyone else.
We can interchange Ruth for Jesus, Naomi for the Lord, and we’ll see the same fiercely committed love story.
But where Ruth merely lovingly obeys, Jesus understands the plot line. He sees magic in the scraps. He sees goodness. He sees kings and queens, daughters and sons of the Living God; brothers and sisters of righteousness, warriors, kingdom seekers.
Is that what we see when we love the least of these?
Do we remember that the first will be last and the last will be first?
Every real love story is undeniably only a reflection of the truest love story and the ultimate lover: Jesus.
You may find yourself in situations where you question, is it love? To which I would respond, “Does it look like Jesus?”
Do we tell each other, “I will go where you go, and stay where you will stay. Your people will be my people, your land my land?”
Love isn’t tolerance for one action and hate for another. Love changes others yes, but ultimately it changes us. Have you loved like that lately? I know I haven’t. I’ve enjoyed the familiarity of my own porch, the quietness of evenings alone, the stillness of surrounding myself with creature comforts.
And I’ve wanted so badly to watch from above and tell the scraps below that if they could just become something again, become beautiful plants, become able humans, become life-filled souls that I would gladly invite them into my life.
If the scraps and left-behinds could just pull it together, clean themselves up, that I would I even meet them at the door.
But this love is not just an open-armed love. It is the kind that puts on work boots, that wades in muddy waters, and leaves lofty places for more miraculous shores.
It is high time we proclaim, Here we are, send us, your servants into the harvest fields. Let us be humbled enough to gather what fell in the cracks and proud enough to point them to You.
Tori Randolph is a teacher, coach, blogger, and plant mother in Rogers, AR. She has killed most of her plants and none of her students. She's most recently become an advocate for stricter ingredient regulation processes in skincare and cosmetics through Beauty Counter. But she counts all that as loss compared to serving Jesus. All her titles can and will someday fade away. When they remember her, let them remember Jesus. To read more of Tori's writing, you can follow her blog at unfilteredliving.wordpress.com.