Day #3–Imagine a day in the life of your hero in history.
By Kara Stoltzfus
It was very early in the morning, and the air was cool as Ruth got up and prepared to leave the small home where she had been living with her mother in law for the past few weeks. She gathered her belongings and stepped outside the door and into the breezy air. She shivered slightly, but knew that before the day was over, she would many times long to feel that cool breeze once more.
As Ruth began walking over the small dusty road to the field of Boaz, she thought of where her life had taken her in the past few months. It had not been an easy year, for sure. First there had been that dreadful disease that had killed first her brother in law, and then her own husband. That had been a very dark time for the family. After that had come her mother in law Naomi’s impulsive decision to leave the country of Moab, and journey back to her homeland of Israel. That had put Ruth and her sister in law, Orpah, in a very difficult position. After all, they had grown quite close to Naomi over the time of their husband’s, and Naomi’s sons’, deaths. At the same time, to leave everything that they knew and loved in the land of Moab to pack up and head into a strange land seemed beyond overwhelming. In the end though, Orpah had stayed in Moab, and Ruth had accompanied Naomi on her journey to the land of Israel. Once they had arrived in Israel, life had not gotten any easier for the two widows. Ruth had to work very hard to keep food on the table for herself and her mother in law. But despite their difficulty, Ruth knew that they were being cared for by the Almighty God. Could it only have been coincidence that she had found the field of Boaz, a close kinsman to her mother in law, on her very first day of gleaning? Ruth was sure that it couldn’t be, and many times had given thanks to God for that day.
But now, the sun was up, and Ruth was drawing closer to her destination. She could see several of the other widows off in the distance, already busy picking up the barley that had been dropped by the reapers. In a few minutes, Ruth arrived and got to work gathering all the grain that she could find. It was hard work, and many times seemed to yield little benefit, but Ruth was thankful for every little bit of food that she was able to get. The sun rose higher in the sky and grew very warm. Ruth began to be very hot and thirsty, but still she continued working. This was her life now, and though it was a hard life, she was thankful for the many blessings that she had been given. She thought again of how she had “by chance” found the field of Boaz. She remembered how kind he had been to her and how harshly he had spoken to his reapers and to the women who had treated her roughly. Ruth had been quite surprised at this, as she thought that nearly all Israelites despised the presence of any Moabite. She had been only more surprised when at lunchtime he had invited her to eat right alongside him and his reapers. When she had gone home and reported this to her mother in law, Naomi had instructed her to continue gleaning in the field of Boaz until the end of the harvest.
Ruth was suddenly jolted from her reverie by the low sound of a horn. It was mealtime, so Ruth wiped the sweat from her brow and made her way to the house with the rest of the workers. She sat down at her normal spot, and thoroughly enjoyed the delicious meal that had been prepared. She was glad for a break from the blazing sun, even though the house was anything but cool. Too soon though, mealtime was over, and Ruth made her way back outside. The afternoon was even harder than the morning, as the sun continued to grow hotter and the hours dragged on and on. But Ruth continued working, and finally, relief. The sun slowly drew closer to the horizon, and finally sank below the mountain in the distance. Ruth gathered her small harvest and began her journey home over the small dusty road. She looked forward to seeing Naomi again, and sharing their meager meal together. It had been a hard day, but a good day, and Ruth expected many more like it to follow.
However, whatever her future held, Ruth knew that God would continue to care for her and Naomi. With that thought on her mind, Ruth reached her home and quietly stepped inside.