Well, time is whizzing by…I am amazed at how fast a week flies by!! I found myself translating for two days at a Medical outreach organized by a local Christian radio station and a group of Counselors. A team of nurse’s from the States took blood pressures, weights, blood glucose levels…they needed translators to help educate the people of Cuenca about nutrition, dental hygiene, women’s health. Yours truly is now a professional at explaining breast self-exams in Spanish. (Sorry if that is inappropriate for the general public, but I sure learned a lot of new words!) At the end, they had counselors waiting to talk and pray with each person. Noele helped to entertain the kids while their parents waited. They had puppet shows, face painting, music and candy…Noele is a natural clown!! Needless to say, we were completely exhausted, and took a much needed day off on Friday. It was an especially indulgent day because it was raining, and I read a whole book just for fun!
We had a great Sunday, beginning with the final of a series of messages on the book of Ruth, and ending with a Cristo Vive gathering. As I digest what I learned through the last two sermons, I am perplexed. Ruth was, to be sure, a woman of great conviction, courage, integrity, obedience, and confidence. Sadly, I think we could all admit that women like these seem rather rare these days. I was upset when someone here said: "there are NO women like Ruth these days…she was PERFECT!"
This is not true for several reasons, one, and the most obvious: she was NOT perfect!!! She was no more perfect than I am! Secondly, there are women like her. I know several whose stories simply aren’t written yet! What about all the women out there who are truly striving to become women after God’s heart? In this house, there are three women of various ages and situations, fighting against who the world would like us to become, in order to let the Lord have His way. Because we are close, we know the struggles each other is facing and that we are working at shaping our characters to look something like hers. Ruth truly is a beautiful example.
We do not often hear of a young woman, recently widowed, staying with her mother-in-law, and taking orders from her. Ruth’s fidelity and love for Naomi speaks volumes. Ruth left her comfort zone, home, and family to follow Naomi, and more importantly, Naomi’s God. I have often read Ruth and wondered at her boldness when it came to Boaz, but in truth, her boldness came from her faith and trust in Naomi, whose faith was in the Lord, the Creator and Sustainer of the universe; and when viewed in those terms, it is not so surprising that she confidently made herself known to Boaz, and that he, in turn, did what was right in the sight of the Lord. What would have happened if Boaz had rejected Ruth? Do you think she would have moped around, believing that she was worthless? Would she have begged Boaz to reconsider? Would she have sent her friends to talk to him, trying to manipulate the situation in order to get what she wanted? Many things could have happened, but if Ruth truly was a woman of virtue and steadfastness, she would have praised the Lord, no matter what the outcome. Among Ruth’s godly characteristics are: sacrificial love, hard work, submission to authority and to wise counsel, and confidence in God that all would work itself out, according to His will.
So ladies, here’s to showing the world that Godly women of virtue truly exist! Take on your challenges and let the Lord create in you a beautiful heart! Men, take note, the Lord may use a woman to impart valuable lessons in boldness, obedience, and integrity. Don’t forget your role as a leader in this world, and take care to encourage the women in your lives to stand up for what is true, noble, and just!
He said, “Who are you?” And she answered, “I am Ruth, your servant. Spread your wings over your servant, for you are a redeemer.” And he said, “May you be blessed by the LORD, my daughter. You have made this last kindness greater than the first in that you have not gone after young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for all my fellow townsmen know that you are a worthy woman. Ruth 3:9-11 ESV