“For wherever you go I shall go, wherever you live I shall live. Your people will be my people and your God will be my God.”

Ruth 1:16

Monday, 10 August 2020

Ruth ~ A woman of loyalty

After Naomi’s husband and two sons died, she saw no option but to return to Judah. Knowing that she would not be able to provide for herself, let alone her widowed daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, she encouraged them to leave her, to return to their people and find new husbands. Orpah took the way out she was given. But Ruth, with great loyalty and love for Naomi, chose to stay with her. She was willing to leave behind everything she knew and go to an unfamiliar place, for Naomi’s people to become her people and for Naomi’s God, Jehovah, to be her God too.

Ruth accompanied Naomi to her home town and immediately started working to feed them by gleaning the wheat that fell from the sheaves of the reapers. Ultimately her faithfulness is rewarded when Naomi helps her to marry Boaz, a well-to-do relative of her husband. Ruth gives birth to a grandson for Naomi, who becomes the father of Jesse, the father of David.  Ruth’s loyalty to her bereaved mother-in-law ultimately unfolds with consequences for salvation history that she would never fully know.

We all face critical moments in our lives; times of grief and loss. It is a powerful thought to consider that the consequences of self-sacrificing love and loyalty may be of far bigger significance in the big picture of life than we realise. We often see that kind of love in the sacrifices a mother is willing to make for her children. Loyalty and faithfulness places love above self-interest.

Who am I deeply committed to? Is there anyone I would do anything for?

Gracious God,
Give me the capacity of Ruth for love and loyalty. Help me to give myself wholeheartedly to the service of others.
Amen.

 
Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has worked in the area of Ignatian Spirituality for 19 years and heads up the work of the Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality. Her primary focus is the training and supervision of spiritual directors and the giving of retreats. She is also a registered Psychologist and her PhD focused on the interface between Christian Spirituality and Psychology. Annemarie is an editorial advisor to “The Way” journal of Spirituality and has authored a number of articles relating to the training of Spiritual Directors in an African context. She has contributed to several books, most recently co-authoring a book of Lenten Reflections: “Long Journey to the Resurrection”. She has contributed to international conferences and consultations in Spirituality in the United Kingdom; the United States; Rome; Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

a.paulin-campbell@jesuitinstitute.org.za @annemariepc_c
See more from Annemarie Paulin-Campbell
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