Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ruth: The Kind Landowner

By Mary Vee
Ruth 2


From Ruth's Journal


I started my work early in the morning. The barley field where I gleaned had thick rows of grain, plenty for paid workers and poor people like me.  God has bless this land.


Paid workers gathered armfuls of golden plump grain in no time and took it to the gathering places. They plucked grain so fast I  found myself working in the shadows of many different people. Of course the workers couldn't help but drop a clump of barley here and there with their arms so full. Those were the pieces I gleaned. 


The unwritten rule known by all the workers--and the poor following them--was once a grain was dropped, the paid worker could not pick it up. 


Not all land owners took care of the poor who picked up dropped pieces by giving them shelter from the sun and water. The Lord, however, led me to a field rich with grain, a kind head servant who let me glean, and a caring owner who provided shelter and water for the poor.


Late in the morning, a man dressed in fine clothes came to me. He must have been told I am a Moabitess and will probably tell me to leave. I bowed before him. "Yes, my Lord?"


He smiled a kind smile, although I didn't know why. He said, "Please listen. I want you to glean only in my field. Stay close by the young women working here. I have spoken to the workers to keep you safe.  When you're thirsty, drink from the vessel where water has already been drawn, you won't need to go to the well."


Why is he giving me these things? Why me over any other poor person working in this field?


My hands trembled and I fell to the ground. "My lord, why have I found favor in your eyes that you noticed me when I am only a foreigner?"


He smiled again. "My head servant reported all you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband and how you left your father and mother and the land of your birth to come to a people whom you did not know."


But I didn't tell the servant all of that information. Someone else must have told him! "You are kind to me, my lord; for you have comforted me and have spoken kindly to me, your maidservant even when I am a foreigner."


At mealtime I sat with the women servants like he said. I didn't have any food, but the cool shade felt good. The owner came to me again and said, "Come here and eat from the food at the table with the paid workers."  


Of course I obeyed, but couldn't understand why the owner had been kind to me. I ate some of the food I had been given then save the rest for Naomi. 


When I go home, I will ask Naomi who this kind land owner is and why he was so kind to me, a foreigner, a stranger.


Come back to hear what happened next.


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1.  Where were poor people allowed to glean?
2.  What is the unwritten rule?
3.  What did this land owner do for the poor?
4.  Why did the landowner come to speak with Ruth?
5.  How was Ruth different from the other poor workers?
6.  What did the landowner learn about Ruth?
7.  At the meal time, what did the landowner do for Ruth?
8.  We haven't told the landowner's name yet, do you know what it is?

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