Sunday, October 28, 2012
Monologue for Ruth Chapter 3 (and a bit of 2): Ruth
You’ll have to excuse me, I’m not used to talking in front of people like this. It’s not that I don’t like to talk. I love to talk. Naomi and I used to talk long
into the night. I’m just not used to talking like this, in front of a lot of people.
Oh, I should tell you about Naomi. She was my mother-in-law, and for a time my dearest and only friend. She was a foreigner from Israel who came to my homeland, Moab. I married her son, Mahlon. But then my husband died. That was very hard for me, or course. But it was even worse for Naomi. She lost her husband and both of her sons. I can’t imagine that kind of pain.
Naomi wanted to go home, to Israel. She needed me, I had to go with her. She tried to persuade me to go home, but I couldn‘t. So I went with her to her
When Naomi had left Israel, it was a time of famine, but it certainly was not when we came back. Everywhere, workers were harvesting rich crops. But we still had nothing.
Naomi told me that the laws of her people, now my people, allowed the poor to follow harvesters and gather the grain they left behind. We certainly were
poor, that’s what I needed to do.
I was afraid how I would be treated when I went to glean. But I was treated with kindness and generosity. I came home that first day with an abundant baskets of barley.
When I told Naomi I had been in the field of Boaz, she smiled. I hadn’t seen her smile like that for months. She said that Boaz was a kinsman of hers, or my late
husband’s. She praised the Lord, saying it was no coincidence I went to that field, that God was showing his grace to us.
Boaz himself asked me to work his field for the remainder of the harvest. It was toward the end of the harvest that Naomi asked me to do something
frightening. She asked me to do something that made sense in their culture, but was alien to me, as I’m sure it would be to you.
She said it was time for me to again begin a home of my own. And she thought perhaps the man I should marry was Boaz. I said Boaz was a good man, but wasn’t it for him to ask me?
She said that Boaz would that night be winnowing barley on the threshing floor, and would then be sleeping there to guard the grain. I was to wash and put on my best clothes and perfume. She told me to go to a place where I could see the threshing floor, and watch Boaz. After he would eat and drink, he would lie down, and I should note where he lay down. And after it was dark, I was to uncover his feet and lie down as well. And then I should wait till he told me what to do.
I know to many of you, to do something like this sounds absurd, mad. But Naomi was a wise woman, I knew I could trust her. I told her I would do whatever she said.
And I did. I went to the threshing floor that night and did all that Naomi told me to do. I found Boaz sound asleep on the threshing floor. I lay down by his feet, but I could not sleep.
After what seemed like an eternity, Boaz woke with a start and cried out, “Who are you?”
“I am you servant, Ruth.” Then I said what Naomi had told me to say, “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are my kinsman-redeemer.”
Then Boaz amazed me. He said, “The Lord bless you, my daughter. This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier. You have not run after younger men, rich or poor. And now my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All my fellow townsmen know you are a woman of noble character. I am a close relative of your late husband, but there is someone more closely related. Stay here for the night. If in the morning he wants to redeem your husband’s land, buy it back, and marry you, then so be it. But if he will not, as surely as the Lord lives, I will. Stay here till morning..”
I slept then, but before the sun was up, Boaz woke me. He gave me grain and sent me home to Naomi. We then had to wait, as Boaz and a man I did not even know, would decide my future.