Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ruth: A Working Woman

By Mary Vee
Ruth 2


From Ruth's Journal


I woke the first morning in Naomi's home and wondered where we'd find food. My stomach growled. I didn't want to say anything to make her feel bad. She probably was hungry too.


Not long afterwards, a few neighbors knocked on the door. "Naomi, we thought you'd be hungry and needed something to eat." The smell of their warm, fresh food caused my stomach to growl again. Really loud! 


I stepped back."Sorry."


The people from Bethlehem brought food again in the evening. The next morning, as we feasted on our neighbor's generosity, an idea came to me. I could go out to the fields, behind the workers and pick up grain they dropped. In Moab, my home country, poor people did that all the time. I wondered if I could do the same here.


"Naomi, would you mind if I went to the barley fields and glean heads of grain in a field where an owner will let me work behind the workers."


She smiled her sweetness. "Thank you, Ruth. Yes, you may go."


I grabbed a basket and set off for a day of work. I couldn't wait to bring Naomi a basket full of grain.  My heart beat with joy, my steps bouncy--until questions, mean and sad questions jumped into my mind. 


What if the people don't like me, I'm not from Bethlehem?
What if the workers don't drop any grain for me to pick up?
What if the owner yells at me to get off his land?


I pushed the questions away, and decided to think only good thoughts. The land where Naomi lived had plenty of green grass, flowers and trees. The grain grew tall and the fields produced lots of grain. Her neighbors brought us food. Naomi welcomed me. Her God would take care of us. What else could I want?


On I walked to the first field--and the second--and the third, each one had a head servant who told me to leave. I didn't want to be angry with them. They didn't know I lived with Naomi and cared about their people. Of course, they didn't give me a chance to tell them either.


No matter, I walked to the next field. Usually the poor simply walked behind the workers and picked up the fallen grain without asking permission. I didn't want to cause any problems since I came from Moab. I looked around for the servant who was in charge and bowed. "Please let me glean and gather after the reapers in your field."


He pointed his eyebrows low and folded his arms. "Who are you?"


I kept my head bowed. "I am Naomi's daughter-in-law, a Moabitess. I came to help care for her."


The head servant let his arms fall to his side. "You came to help Naomi? Well then. Of course you may. When you're tired, rest over there," he pointed toward a shelter. "And there's water over there," he pointed to a well."


Just like that? No questions, nothing mean to say? Naomi's God has certainly sent me to a kind man. "Thank you, my lord."


I looked for the workers then followed them, picking up pieces of grain they dropped. Just think, if I could bring back enough food, Naomi would be pleased and have her own food to eat. 


Thank you God for blessing Naomi's house.


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1. What did Naomi's neighbors do for her and Ruth?
2. What did Ruth offer to do?
3. What questions did Ruth have?
4. Do you sometimes have questions like these?
5. What did Ruth decide to do?
6. Did Ruth have success at first?
7. What did you learn from this story?

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