31 People: Ruth

Ruth

The Bible character, Ruth is one of my favorite people from the Bible.

Namesake, I here you cry! However, there is way more to my love and admiration for her than just having a shared name.

Yes, I love my name and I am delighted to share it with a woman of such character, faithfulness and kindness. I remember asking my parents, when I was old enough to know about Ruth from the Bible if that is where they came up with the inspiration for my name. I was, at least in part. Ruth is also a favorite Biblical character for my parents, and in part she inspired my name.

A hard act to follow I felt when I came to understand a little more about her from her story. I also didn’t feel like I could identify with her very much. God had other plans as he usually does!

In recent years, I noticed some major similarities in my life and Ruth’s and I have been challenged and felt inclined to take a similar attitude to her in my response to life hence why she made my 31 People Who Inspire, Influence, Impress list.

One similarity is that I am a foreigner in the land. Yes, I am only from England, and you may think it is really not that different to America. You would be wrong. It is very different. More different that you would expect or prepare yourself for. In many ways I have had to start over again. All the things I thought I knew, and took for granted, are not the same. From how to apply for a job to laundry soap (and the fact that it is even called laundry soap is different, in the UK it is called washing powder!) it is different and I have had to start from scratch. Which believe me can lead to some pretty embarrassing conversations and feelings of insecurity and stupidity!

Ruth too faced these issues, she was a foreigner in a new land with just one person she knew, her mother-in-law! She didn’t know the etiquette, she probably made a fool of herself and she probably had more than a few embarrassing moments. However, like me, she know that is where she was supposed to be. It was God’s plan and intention for her life.

Ruth was faithful and I live my life in such a way that tries to be faithful to God first and those around me second. The other characters in the Book of Ruth also display great faithfulness-Ruth to Naomi, Boaz to Ruth and everyone’s relationship with God is a reflection of his faithfulness.

When she was called, Ruth was indignant. I love that about her. She was tenacious!

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” Ruth 1:16-17

The Book of Ruth is a book of redemption. At the start of the book Ruth is a childless widow with no prospects and by the end she is the great-grandmother to David, Israel’s great king, happily married, settled. The love story of Ruth and Boaz is a reflection of God’s love for us in sending Jesus to die for us on the cross. Boaz was Ruth’s kinsman-redeemer, and Jesus is our kinsman-redeemer.

The character of Ruth is a huge inspiration in my life. She is faithful, kind, loving, selfless and a woman of honor. I am delighted to share a name with her and I only pray that I can be a fraction of the woman she was. I do hope I get to meet her in heaven – now she is someone I would love to have coffee with!

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