Attentive to the Stirrings

Wednesday, August 5, 2020
“Now Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, ‘Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain, behind someone in whose sight I may find favor.’ She said, ‘Go, my daughter.’ Then Boaz said to his servant who was in charge of the reapers, ‘To whom does this young woman belong?’ The servant who was in charge of the reapers answered, ‘She is the Moabite who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab.’” [Ruth 2:1-2, 5-6]
Ruth was fiercely loyal to Naomi, choosing to go with Naomi from Moab to Bethlehem even though she knew she would be an outsider. She chose to cling to her mother-in-law rather than return to her people. She chose to go to a place that considered Moabites enemies. Have you ever made a choice like this?  Have you ever entered a hostile environment out of loyalty to someone you loved?

Now we don’t know where Naomi and Ruth found a place to stay, but we do know that Ruth immediately gets to work after asking Naomi for permission. At the close of chapter one we learn that Naomi and Ruth returned at the beginning of the barley harvest.  And so, Ruth enters a field, not knowing who it belongs to and starts gleaning. Of course, the field just happens to belong to Boaz, the prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech. Some people would call this a coincidence, I call it a “God-incidence.” It’s not that we are merely puppets on a string; it’s that we are open to the possibilities of the Spirit at work within us. We don’t know why Ruth selected this particular field, but we do know that her extraordinary effort was noticed and communicated to the landowner who happened to be Boaz. When has the Spirit at work within you caused you to be noticed? Can you think of a “God-incident” in your life? When you felt compelled to go to a particular place, only to have encountered what was life-giving? God is at work, my friends, yet we have to be attentive to the stirrings of the Spirit in order to notice! 

Stirring God, attune my heart to your will and ways. Help me to be open and receptive to the Spirit at work within me. I know that at times I can brush off those inner feelings and thoughts all too easily. Help me be deeply attentive to what you might be prompting me to do or be. Amen.

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