A friend (thanks VB) sent me a link to a great sermon this week. It was on friendship and relationships, and recognizing who in your life is a “halfway friend” vs a “covenant partner.” The pastor used Ruth 1, the story of Ruth, Naomi, and Orpah as an illustration.
As I’ve been reflecting on it and considering the roles of people – old and new – in my life, I’ve also been struck by what it took for Naomi to allow Ruth to support her. I mean, we tend to focus on Ruth and her amazing proclamation of love an support. But what about Naomi? She was, to all appearances, a failure. She was returning home with no husband, no sons, no viable means of support. She was bitter, angry, and broken. Ruth saw that she needed help, and lent it. But it was still up to Naomi to accept it. It was up to Naomi to allow Ruth to bring blessings to her life.
Imagine if Naomi still insisted after Ruth’s great speech that Ruth return home. Imagine if Naomi refuse to allow Ruth to accompany her. Imagine if Naomi didn’t have the humility to admit she needed Ruth. Imagine.
This forced me to look at my own life. There are people offering to be Ruth to me right now. Offering to come alongside me, support me, go to the threshing floor for me. I’ve been so wrapped up in my pride and not wanting to burden them, wanting them to have the life that’s better in Moab, that I didn’t want to accept. I’ve been pushing them and their support away.
No more. I need to be Naomi. I need to accept. I need to make the call, send the text, and be grateful. I have Ruths in my life. Who knows where this could lead.