I will not spend the time to share in depth from Ruth but I would like to make some observations. Ruth was one of Naomi's two daughter-in-laws and all their husbands had died. What happens next is a timeless example of true friendship and so many important lessons can be gleaned from this ancient story.
Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that Naomi was at the lowest point in her life. She was, as she put it herself, empty and bitter. I don't know about you but I have certainly been there.... empty and bitter that is. It's when we feel the most unlovable that we most need to be loved. And that is exactly what Ruth did. Although Naomi tried to talk Ruth out of coming along side her in this difficult time, Ruth would not hear of it. In fact, Ruth declared her devotion to her mother -in-law in one of the most moving passages of scripture you will ever read....
But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave
you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and
where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.
"Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse,
if anything but death parts you and me."
Now what is important to realize is that Ruth's decision came at great personal cost. She had to leave her family and home and all that was familiar to her to be with Naomi. She also had to know that Naomi's current condition would not make her the best companion to hang out with. And yet, Ruth decided to stay by her friends side in a time of great sorrow and pain. Now that is a true friend. But that is not all that strikes me about this great love story. Naomi is decades older than Ruth and Ruth becomes her most treasured and faithful friend.
After sharing this touching story with the ladies at Avery Presbyterian, I once again looked across the room and was reminded of the wide range of ages and seasons of life represented that morning. Then I challenged the ladies to not limit their sights for friendship to those who are in the same season of life. Some of my closest friends are at least two decades younger than me.
In a blog post a year or more ago I am pretty sure I introduced my friends Sabrina (on my right) and Sarah (on my left). In case you missed it, here they are....
And so, I urged those of us "older" ladies in the room where I was sharing that morning to realize that those women coming behind us need us. We have the life experience and now the margin to be "other mothers" to the young wives and mothers and daughters all around us. You cannot imagine how rich your life might be to have a cross-generational friendship. The benefits will enrich your life as you might never suspect. The point is..... we need each other. I want to let Ruth's example provoke me to be on the lookout for friends in need of a friend no matter what season of life they are in!!!